January 2021

Columbus city leaders say mob attack shows difference in police response

Courtesy of WBNS 10TV
By Krista Frost
January 7, 2021

Mayor Andrew Ginther said there was a difference between how Trump supporters were dealt with versus how Black Lives Matter protesters were dealt with.

COLUMBUS, Ohio — City leaders gathered for a radio forum Thursday afternoon to discuss what they say appears to be a difference in police response in Wednesday’s attack on the Capitol and protests in Washington D.C. this summer.

“Yesterday’s events raised special concerns, we felt, for those in the African American community. We know that once again we find ourselves and our community disproportionately and negatively impacted by national events,” said President and CEO of the Columbus Urban League Stephanie Hightower.

Hightower, along with Columbus Mayor Andrew Ginther, City Councilmember Shannon Hardin and Franklin County Commissioner Kevin Boyce, all opened the conversation to those in central Ohio.

“The way that these folks were handled and dealt with versus the way the [Black Lives Matter] protesters in this community and around the country were dealt with, very clear differences,” Mayor Ginther said.

Commissioner Boyce and Hightower both brought up how hundreds of police were prepared when BLM protestors took over the streets of Washington D.C., yet were not prepared when President Trump supporters began storming the Capitol building.

Hightower said the issue is bigger than race, but touches on the need for discussions about race and inclusivity.

“[They chant] ‘take back our country’, as if the rest of us are not a part of our country,” Hightower said.

Ginther and Hardin both said they’re working hard to ensure situations like that are handled differently in our communities in Ohio.

They are currently working to form the Civilian Review Board.

“We’re at the table now with the Fraternal Order of Police and we are going to negotiate because we know out neighbors’ lives depend on it,” Ginther said.

Applications for the Civilian Review Board are being accepted until Jan. 15.


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