June 2020

Protests continue for 11th day in Columbus as pressure for change mounts

Courtesy of Fox28 / ABC6
by Matthew Thomas
Sunday, June 7, 2020

The massive demonstrations that started on May 28 are entering its 11th day as city leaders promise change.

More protests are scheduled for Sunday in the downtown area including a march at the Ohio Statehouse and City Hall.

Early Sunday evening, hundreds of black men gathered, in their suits and ties, for the Black Excellence March.

On Saturday, Columbus Mayor Andrew Ginther rescinded the city-wide curfew order after a lawsuit was filed in federal court alleging the city violated people’s constitutional rights.

City leaders said they are making progress on reforms.

On Friday, Mayor Ginther and Columbus Police Chief Thomas Quinlan gave a public update.

The mayor’s office said the city has put in place independent investigations of internal and external discrimination complaints, created a community affairs bureau and youth services unit, and has expanded access to language services.

The city said it is still working on the following:

Cultural competency training
Juvenile justice training and de-escalation with youth
Continued Crisis Intervention Training (CIT), including for dispatchers
Overhaul of Employee Action Review System of officers
Continuation of Columbus Community Safety Advisory Commission to assure recommendations are completed.

City Attorney Zach Klein along with members of the NAACP and Columbus Urban League laid out eight steps for police reform last week.

The recommendations include a review of police conduct during the protests, a review of the department’s use of chemical agents, a review of how misdemeanor and traffic offenses affect the relationship between the community and police, and more.

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