Ohio News

Police conducting homicide investigation after man found dead inside east Columbus home

Channel 10 news - Mon, 06/01/2020 - 18:05

COLUMBUS, Ohio -- Police say a man's death is being investigated as a homicide after he was found dead Monday morning inside his east Columbus home.

According to police, 22-year-old Erick Peeples was found dead inside his home in the 1700 block of Kent Street.

Peeples' family called police to ask for a welfare check after they were not able to contact him.

Police have not said exactly how Peeples died.

Anyone with information about the case is asked to call the Columbus Police Homicide Unit at (614)-645-4730 or Central Ohio Crime Stoppers at (614)-461-TIPS (8477).

Categories: Ohio News

Columbus firefighter indicted for attempted sexual conduct with teen

Channel 10 news - Mon, 06/01/2020 - 18:03

COLUMBUS, Ohio — A Columbus firefighter has been indicted one count of attempted sexual misconduct with a minor.

According to court documents, 54-year-old Walter Lash attempted to have sexual conduct with a 15-year-old girl on Feb. 26.

Columbus Division of Fire Battalion Chief Steve Martin said Lash has been on unpaid leave for the past several months.

The Pickerington Local School District also confirmed Lash was a volunteer coach for the Pickerington Central softball program in 2019 and was approved to be a paid coach for this season in January.

The district placed Lash on leave and was told not to be on any Pickerington Local School District premises or engage in any coaching activities.

Lash is also charged with importuning.

Categories: Ohio News

One dead following shooting on Columbus’ east side

News Channel 4 - Mon, 06/01/2020 - 17:54

COLUMBUS (WCMH) — One person is dead following a shooting on Columbus’ east side Monday.

According to Columbus Police, the shooting was reported at approximately 7:35 p.m. in the 1900 block of Maryland Avenue.

The victim was transported to Ohio State East Hospital, where the person was later pronounced dead.

There is no suspect information available.

Columbus Police continue to investigate the shooting.

Categories: Ohio News

Motivated to take action, Columbus protesters share why they attend

News Channel 4 - Mon, 06/01/2020 - 17:21

COLUMBUS (WCMH) — Ahmed Abdullahi came to Columbus to get away from a civil war in Somalia.

“I wanted to survive for my life,” Abdullahi says. “Now here…I have to see people surviving for their life, gasping for air.”

Abdullahi is referring to the video of George Floyd pinned to the ground and with the knee of a Minneapolis police officer on top of his neck.

Abdullahi joined protesters at the Statehouse Monday. It was his third day of protesting.

“I love this country and because I want to build a better life for my son, that’s what I came for,” he said.

For Heather Johnson, the racism and incidents of police brutality have gone on too long.

“I’m tired of it,” Johnson said. “I’m tired of seeing it. I’m tired of it being ok I just want a change in that.”

Johnson says she too attends the protests for her children. She says her oldest, 13-year-old Elyjah, is scared.

“My son is a gifted and talented student, but at the end of the day he’s a black boy and thats what he’s looked at as,” Johnson said. “I do it for my sons. They matter, they’re important. I would hate for my son to be under the knee of a cop or behind the gun of a cop.”

Johnson and Abdullahi are among hundreds of protesters who have gathered each of the past five days to march and chant. They want an end to police brutality and they want their voices to be heard.

“I believe there is a change coming,” Johnson said. “I’ve talked to Columbus police officers, judges, attorneys, activists and we all have hope there’s going to be a better day in Columbus.”

Categories: Ohio News

Hoping to bounce back from pandemic, downtown restaurant boarded up on first day back due to unrest

News Channel 4 - Mon, 06/01/2020 - 16:31

COLUMBUS (WCMH) — Downtown Columbus businesses coming back from weeks of inactivity and a lack of revenue due to the COVID-19 pandemic are facing additional obstacles due to unrest in the city over the last five days.

Two nights of destructive activity left hundreds of windows smashed downtown.​

The old F. & R. Lazarus & Co. building, for example, had 89 of its large windows broken. At the estimated cost of $4,000 per window, it could cost more than $350,000 to repair the damage.

And that is just one building.

Simply repairing damage and scrubbing graffiti off of building walls is one cost. The loss of revenue due to the lack of customers is another. ​

Protests downtown in front of the Statehouse at the corner of Broad and High streets continued Monday. Many businesses simply didn’t open or didn’t bring their staff back to avoid getting them caught up in a situation if things escalated as they did last week with tear gas and unrest.​

This week was supposed to be the start of the road to recovery for some downtown businesses. That didn’t happen, though, and instead of customers, many downtown businesses had boarded up windows.​

One of those businesses is Market 65. The fast-casual style restaurant sports a made to order salad bar and dine-in seating. Neither of which were up and running much Monday.​

“Just when I thought that things couldn’t get much worse… they have,” said Anthony Micheli, co-owner of Market 65. “June 1 was a day that I was hoping that a lot of people in the heart of the downtown would be getting back to the office, and getting back to work, and as you can see, I’m sitting here with you instead of in the kitchen.”​

The restaurant leases space in the building and because of the unrest, the management of the building decided to take proactive steps to protect the structure by boarding up the sides that face the public right of way.​

This included boarding over the front doors of Market 65, leaving the restaurant with just one entrance, in the back, only accessible if you somehow get into the main building.

And that’s a problem: just one exit isn’t up to code.​

“We have to have two exits open and, obviously, can’t have an exit open that’s boarded up,” said Micheli.​

Unable to open his restaurant for dine in, and without the public aware there was another entrance to get inside, left Micheli with a practically customer-less day.​

“Most people that see a boarded up store front are just going to assume, that that place is not open for business,” said Micheli, adding, “I think there is a certain stigma associated with also the boarding up of a store frontage that has kind of a negative connotation tied to it.”​

All of this has exacerbated financial problems for businesses like Market 65. First the COVID-19 pandemic, now civil unrest, he said the hits just keep on coming.​

“Just after being closed up for a couple of weeks, we’re already in a situation where we can’t afford to pay some of our bills, our rent, our utilities,” said Micheli.​

The restaurant owes $23,000 in rent alone.

“How long we can last is really… uh, you know, there are a lot of variables there and a lot of it depends on how well people work together in finding a solution that works for both parties,” explained Micheli. ​

While he may be talking about deals between landlords and tenants, he said that really applies to everything, including recovering from the pandemic and the civil unrest of the last five days.

And if his business does go under, it’s not just his business that goes away; dozens of jobs would be taken with it.​

“It’s devastating for us, and we just want to get back to operating and serving people,” said Micheli.​

Categories: Ohio News

Protests and COVID-19

News Channel 4 - Mon, 06/01/2020 - 16:18

As demonstrations take place across Central Ohio, the city’s health commissioner is concerned about the possible spread of COVID-19 among the protesters.

Dr. Mysheika Roberts says she, like those demonstrating, is frustrated by the racism that has been seen across the nation.

“For me personally, it is devastating to see what brown and black people go through in our country,” Roberts said. “It hurts. It hurts to see blatant racism and sometimes less blatant racism.”

Roberts told NBC4 that she supports the freedom of speech and the right to peacefully protest. With people demonstrating, she worried about COVID-19 guidelines not being followed.

“I saw so many individuals out there in very close proximity not wearing a face-covering and I immediately thought to myself, oh no, we could easily be setting up a situation where COVID-19 is spreading among these protestors,” she said.

Roberts explained that she prefers individuals not participate in mass gatherings and perhaps find different ways to protest. She explained that face-coverings are critical for people to stay healthy.

“If they are going to participate in these protests, they need to do so safely and peacefully and they need to make sure they wear a face-covering,” she said. “If they do exhibit symptoms that could be suggestive of COVID-19, it’s very important they get tested immediately and stop attending the protests.”

To date, Columbus Public Health has reported 4,461 positive COVID-19 cases along with 213 deaths within its jurisdiction.

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Categories: Ohio News

WATCH: President Trump to address nation as protests continue nationwide

Channel 10 news - Mon, 06/01/2020 - 16:14

President Donald Trump may invoke the 1807 Insurrection Act which would allow him to deploy active-duty troops to cities across the country in response to protests sparked by the death of George Floyd. That's according to NBC News, citing four people familiar with the decision.

You can watch in the player below.

ABC News is separately reporting that active duty Army police units from Fort Bragg, NC, will be deployed Monday night to Washington, D.C.

According to NBC News, the troops would be allowed to conduct law enforcement missions. Before that can happen, Trump would have to "immediately order the insurgents to disperse and retire peacefully to their abodes within a limited time," the law states.

The last time the act was invoked was during the 1992 riots in Los Angeles, according to NBC News. Those riots were sparked by the beating of Rodney King by police officers which was caught on video.

“The Insurrection Act, it’s one of the tools available, whether the president decides to pursue that, that’s his prerogative,“ White House Press Secretary Kayleigh McEnany reportedly told NBC News, but without confirming that Trump had decided to invoke it.

Categories: Ohio News

Artists paint mural at Ohio Theatre in hopes of bringing people together

Channel 10 news - Mon, 06/01/2020 - 16:00

In the middle of many people protesting and people cleaning up downtown, local artists were painting a mural at the Ohio Theatre.

CAPA and the Greater Columbus Arts Council are working together. They have launched a new initiative called, #ArtUnitesCbus. It’s an initiative that allows local artists to paint murals on the plywood that covers that broken windows at the theatre.

The artists started early Monday afternoon. It says, “Even the darkest night will end and the sun will rise.”

“The arts are to inspire and to bring us together,” Chad Whittington said.

Chad Whittington is the President and CEO of CAPA, the Columbus Association for the Performing Arts.

The Ohio Theatre took a hard hit last week when the protests first began; windows were shattered and the box office was destroyed.

“We’re thankful no one was injured really, it’s glass at this point and are things that can be replaced,” Whittington said.

He said they decided to cover up the broken windows covered with plywood and graffiti since they are in the arts industry.

“We want the message of hope but we also want messages about the situation we’re in, the injustice the inequality,” Whittington said.

Whittington said the message that was painted Monday is from the musical Les Mes.

“We actually had it up on our marquee because of COVID-19 and the theatre being closed,” Whittington said.

However, he said they feel it still fits the situation we are all in.

The message is to give people motivation to keep going.

“And at the same time to talk about the issues that exist in our society,” Whittington said.

He hopes that art will continue to unite everyone and that people continue to fight peacefully for their voices to be heard.

Categories: Ohio News

CPD explains use of tape on bicycle officer uniforms at Columbus protests

News Channel 4 - Mon, 06/01/2020 - 15:55

COLUMBUS (WCMH) — The Columbus Division of Police took to Facebook Monday to explain why some officers have tape on their uniforms where many expect a badge or body camera to be placed.

The live-streamed video is in response to social media posts criticizing the use of tape on uniforms.

.@MikeDeWine and @MayorGinther Why are you allowing Columbus police to tape over their body cameras? Why are you giving them carte blanche to commit acts of violence. If you don't fix this, YOU are responsible for it. Our blood will be on your hands. pic.twitter.com/mlXAvM2BWA

— Andorob (@andorob) May 30, 2020

Lt. Duane Mabry appeared with two bicycle officers to explain the tape placement and other things about the uniforms.

Lt. Mabry explained that the protective gear worn by bicycle officers during the protests consists of downhill mountain biking equipment made by Fox Racing. It’s different from what a bicycle officer might wear while riding through a neighborhood.

According to Mabry, the tape is used for identification purposes within the police division. It allows supervisors to quickly identify the officers under their command.

“It is merely, for our own purposes, so we can have an idea of who is supposed to be where and doing what,” said Lt. Mabry.

Since the gear is not made for police use, it does not have a good location to place a body camera, explained Lt. Mabry. He said some officers have tried to place cameras below the chest plate of the gear, but it’s not a secure fit and allows the camera to be easily damaged.

When an officer is wearing a normal uniform, the body cameras are pinned to the uniform or held in place magnetically.

Mabry said at least one body camera has been destroyed by thrown objects over the last few days.

Earlier in the day, CPD tweeted a picture showing where some officers have placed their body camera.

*The second picture, blue circle, shows where this officer’s body camera is located. https://t.co/pga5wItlhe pic.twitter.com/RXNYdZPpIw

— Columbus Ohio Police (@ColumbusPolice) June 1, 2020

Lt. Mabry also addressed the lack of name tags on officers while at downtown protests. He said that has been a standard practice for several years.

“A couple years ago, we had a protest with Antifa and the anarchists at the Statehouse. And one of those group members went up to a state trooper, saw his name, and doxed that officer, and went to their private residence,” said Mabry. “We cannot risk officers’ personal homes from these people that want to have nefarious activities.”

Mabry said he will work on getting officers’ badge numbers written on their protective gear with a marker. Mabry said that if anyone has a complaint about a specific officer, to take a picture of the officer, ask a supervisor (with a gold badge) for an officer’s badge number, or make the report using his own badge number.

“My name is Lt. Duane Mabry. My badge number is 5076. I am in charge of every single bicycle officer in the city of Columbus. If there is an issue with a bicycle officer, you use this badge number right here when you call it in, and that’s my responsibility,” said Mabry.

Categories: Ohio News

Ginther asks people to submit reports of excessive force by Columbus police for civilian review

Channel 10 news - Mon, 06/01/2020 - 15:33

COLUMBUS, Ohio - Columbus Mayor Andrew Ginther is asking protesters to send their evidence of police using excessive force for civilian review.

In a post on Facebook, Ginther said to submit photos, videos or accounts to reportCPD@columbus.gov.

He said information will be reviewed by a civilian from the Department of Public Safety's Equal Employment Opportunity Compliance Office.

The mayor's post comes after four days of protests in the city which includes some confrontations between police and protesters.

“We clearly didn't have a good game plan and I think we were overly aggressive, the police were with how they engaged folks on Saturday,” Ginther explained.

Protesters threw water bottles, bricks and firecrackers at Columbus police. Several officers were injured.

Officers were seen using pepper spray and other chemical agents and using knee knockers towards protesters.

“I talked to the chief and let him know that engagement, those strategies and tactics were unacceptable and didn't meet our community standards,” Ginther said.

In a now-deleted tweet, Ginther wrote, "It has been a tough few days Columbus, I hear you. I feel your pain. Some of what we saw yesterday from Columbus police was aggressive. We are proactively addressing the concerns."​

Ginther explains the tweet was deleted and replaced with one asking for people to send information to the city.

“We've said from the very beginning that our police officers and their safety has been a top priority. We need to make sure we are protecting our police officers and that we are giving them the resources they need,” Ginther said.

The Fraternal Order of Police Lodge 9 gave a statement saying in part

"While the city leaders have issued statements condemning the police response and any enforcement actions they have taken, their statements failed to equally condemn the violence, property destruction and other criminal acts committed by those rioting, nor did they address the numerous officers injured when rocks, bricks and firecrackers were thrown at them."

“What we were asking the public to do is to show patience and restraint I did not see that modeled by our law enforcement officers in the way we engaged on Saturday,” Ginther said.

Ginther explains the complaints will be reviewed by the public safety office, faith leaders and the chief before decisions are made.

Full statement from Fraternal Order of Police Lodge 9:

Columbus Police Officers, as well as Officers from the surrounding jurisdictions, have done a tremendous job during a very tense time over the last several days. While the City leaders have issued statements condemning the police response and any enforcement actions they have taken, their statements failed to equally condemn the violence, property destruction and other criminal acts committed by those rioting, nor did they address the numerous officers injured when rocks, bricks, and firecrackers were thrown at them. Instead, the City leaders focused their statements exclusively on the peaceful protestors they observed, the peaceful protesters are not the problem. It is possible to support peaceful protest and speak out against injustices without resorting to criminal acts and property destruction. Peaceful protestors and rioters are not the same and should not be conflated as such. What happened to George Floyd is horrific and our officers were disgusted by that video. What is happening to our great City is sickening and it is destroying our already suffering businesses and the employees who depend on those businesses for their livelihood. While City Attorney Klein is reviewing the arrest from the last several days, I would also hope that he is reviewing video footage to prosecute those responsible for destroying our businesses and City. It is time to unite and stop the suffering. Everyone needs to do better; our great City deserves better."

Categories: Ohio News

Artists paint images of unity amid Columbus unrest

News Channel 4 - Mon, 06/01/2020 - 15:27

COLUMBUS (WCMH) – If there’s a way to unite Columbus during this tumultuous time, the Greater Columbus Arts Council and CAPA want to be a part of it.

After what has happened around the country over the weekend, unification is a lofty goal, but if everyone pitches in, it could mean a lot.

The arts council is bringing together nearly two dozen artists – black, brown and white – to paint in the midst of the problems, using the hashtag #ArtUnitesCBus.

Images can last a lifetime, so images are being added to some downtown locations.

“Over the last three months, I’ve been working on this love song concept, Aunt B’s Love Army, so she’s building her army of love,” said artist AJ Vanderelli.

Vanderelli is one of 21 artists enlisted by CAPA and the Greater Columbus Arts Council to pain their boarded-up business fronts with temporary images that cover the violence of protest.

“It’s sad,” said artist Andrew Lundberg. “It’s sad that it takes those few to ruin something so powerful. I hope it won’t, I hope things like these will make it potent enough to stick.”

Lundberg said icons, colors go beyond the words he’s painting: From this storm comes reform. “I guess I was thinking about the idea that something has to come from this,” Lundberg said. “We can’t keep doing this and life goes back to normal. I mean, I think there’s an opportunity for something to actually change here.”

Artists will be working through Wednesday on East Long Street, and at the Ohio Theater on East State Street, painting temporary messages while hoping for a lasting impact, like a fist grasping for a sign of peace.

“I was thinking about it real hard because I wanted to get the proper message across,” said artist Hakim Callwood. “It’s not destroying the peace sign, but it’s holding it firmly, strongly, like, it’s ironic that you gotta fight for peace, but we’re willing to do it.”

Images painted to spark hope and light in a very dark time.


Categories: Ohio News

Science from home: Hurricane in a bowl

News Channel 4 - Mon, 06/01/2020 - 15:07
What you need:
  • A medium to large bowl
  • Water
  • Spoon or something to stir with
  • Food coloring
Steps:
  1. Fill your bowl about 2/3 the way full with water
  2. Stir the water in the same direction
  3. Keep stirring until the water is moving fast enough to keep going around the bowl by itself
  4. Add 1-2 drops of food coloring
  5. Watch how the color spreads and circulates
The science/how this applies to hurricanes:

The Atlantic Hurricane Season (covering areas in the Atlantic Ocean, Gulf of Mexico and Caribbean Sea) runs from June 1- November 30. While hurricanes can still happen outside of this range, this is when the majority of hurricanes and tropical storms will occur.

A hurricane starts out as an area of low pressure. Low pressure systems move counterclockwise in the Norther Hemisphere, and clockwise in the southern Hemisphere. We represent that by stirring the water around in the bowl.

Just like general thunderstorms, hurricanes continue to grow with the key ingredients of lift, instability and moisture, which are abundant over warm ocean waters. Warm air rises, and as it rises it creates more instability in our atmosphere. The ocean creates the perfect place for hurricanes to grow because ocean waters are warmest by the end of the summer and provide an abundant source of moisture, or water, to keep storms growing.

As storms grow and the area of low pressure deepens, and wind speeds pick up. Once the storm has 39-73 mph sustained winds it is classified as a tropical storm and gets a name to help identify it. If winds pick up to 74 mph or higher, it becomes a hurricane.

While we won’t be stirring the water that fast, getting the water to the point where it can continue to swirl in a circle in the bowl by itself will do the trick for this experiment!

We added the food coloring to get an idea about what else is going on with the spin created by a tropical storm or hurricane.

The center of the spinning represents the “eye” of the hurricane. While the eye is actually the calmest part of the storm, the outer edge, or “eyewall” is where some of the strongest circulation and most damaging winds are found.

Notice how the color spreads out and creates bands around the middle part of the circulation. These are called rainbands.

Rainbands are curved bands of clouds and thunderstorms that continue to feed off of the moisture and instability available as they spiral away from the eyewall. The storms within these bands are usually strong to severe and are capable of producing heavy rain, wind and even tornadoes. While there can be gaps between these bands of strong storms, they are the first part of the hurricane to make landfall.

Notice that even if you drop food coloring into the center of the bowl of spinning water that the water spreads to the outer edge. Unlike a thunderstorm that will ofter be smaller than your neighborhood, hurricanes are large systems often the size of several states as they spin over warm water.

A hurricane’s doesn’t always correlate with its intensity. Hurricanes are rated on the Saffir-Simpson Hurricane Wind Scale on a scale of Category 1-5 based on sustained wind speed.

Categories: Ohio News

Columbus Police: Man waves gun during downtown protests

News Channel 4 - Mon, 06/01/2020 - 14:18

COLUMBUS (WCMH) — A man has been charged after police said he was seen waving a gun out of a vehicle window during protests in downtown Columbus Sunday night.

Nathaniel Ray Shepherd Jr.

According to Columbus Police, Nathaniel Ray Shepherd Jr., 22, of Columbus, was seen waving a gun out of an SUV window and failed to stop for police at Broad Street and Fourth Street.

Police said the white SUV sped off, but was stopped a short time later by officers.

According to police, they discovered a loaded Glock 9mm handgun with two regular magazines and one 30-round magazine, a loaded AK-47 pistol, two unloaded .22 AR-style pistols, a bag of suspected cocaine, and $818.

Shepherd was arrested and charged with felony failure to comply with an order or signal of a police officer.

Police are continuing to investigate the incident.

Chief Deputy of the Franklin County Sheriff’s Office Jim Gilbert posted a video showing someone standing on top of a white SUV while brandishing an automatic rifle in his hands.

How would anyone think that this was a peaceful protest? Going the wrong-way against traffic,while standing on top of a moving vehicle with an AK47 Style Rifle in your hand waving it around W no regard for anyone!Downtown Cols, OH Yesterday (5/31)3:30pm THIS IS CRMINAL ACTIVITY! pic.twitter.com/jnZJHiFxUH

— Chief Jim Gilbert (@CHIEFGILBERT1) June 1, 2020
Categories: Ohio News

Body recovered at Alum Creek State Park

News Channel 4 - Mon, 06/01/2020 - 14:04

ORANGE TOWNSHIP, Ohio (WCMH) — A man’s body was recovered Monday afternoon after a swimming accident at Alum Creek State Park over the weekend.

According to the Ohio Department of Natural Resources (ODNR), the accident occurred at approximately 2:30 p.m. Sunday near the dam.

ODNR identified the man as Louis Cruz, 28, from Columbus.

According to ODNR, witnesses said Cruz was swimming from a pontoon boat when he went underwater.

Dan Aquino-Matias, 36, was apparently injured when he attempted to rescue Cruz, ODNR said.

Aquino-Matias was taken to Riverside Hospital. His condition is not known.

According to its Facebook page, the Franklin County Sheriff’s Dive and Rescue Team recovered the body Monday afternoon.

ODNR was assisted in the search by the Franklin County and Delaware County sheriff’s offices, Orange Township Fire Department, Genoa Township Fire Rescue, and Berlin Fire and EMS.

ODNR is investigating what led to the accident.

Categories: Ohio News

Family-ordered autopsy: George Floyd died of asphyxiation

Channel 10 news - Mon, 06/01/2020 - 14:01

MINNEAPOLIS — An autopsy commissioned for George Floyd’s family found that Floyd died of asphyxiation due to neck and back compression when a Minneapolis police officer kneeled on his neck for several minutes and ignored his cries of distress, the Floyd family’s attorneys said Monday.

The autopsy by a doctor who also examined Eric Garner’s body found the compression cut off blood to Floyd’s brain, and weight on his back made it hard to breathe.

The family’s autopsy differs from the official autopsy as described in a criminal complaint against the officer.

That autopsy included the effects of being restrained, along with underlying health issues and potential intoxicants in Floyd’s system, but also said it found nothing “to support a diagnosis of traumatic asphyxia or strangulation.”

Floyd, a black man who was in handcuffs at the time, died after the white officer ignored bystander shouts to get off him and Floyd’s cries that he couldn’t breathe.

His death, captured on citizen video, sparked days of protests in Minneapolis that have spread to cities around America.

Categories: Ohio News

Stonewall Columbus calls for Columbus police chief to resign

Channel 10 news - Mon, 06/01/2020 - 13:56

COLUMBUS, Ohio - Stonewall Columbus is calling for Columbus Division of Police Chief Thomas Quinlan to resign.

"It has become clear that there is a need for true reform to eliminate the systemic racism and culture of violence. And it is clear that this reform can not come from within the Columbus Division of Police. We need new leadership," the organization said in a statement released Monday.

Stonewall Columbus said the death of George Floyd was another senseless example of racist violence committed by police. Adding, peaceful protesters have been attacked by police officers in Columbus while standing on the sidewalk or walking away from the police.

In the statement, Stonewall Columbus said they have worked with police over the last three years to improve their officer training and de-escalation strategies.

"This is not the first time we have seen this happen and it won’t be the last time we see this in our communities without true change and reform," the release said.

Additionally, Stonewall Columbus called for the immediate release and dropped charges for all protesters, implementation of the recommendations from the Community Safety Advisory Commission and establishment of an independent Civilian Review Commission to oversee investigations into police use of force.

"Stonewall Columbus condemns police brutality against these peaceful protestors, the over-policing communities of color, and demands accountability for the unjust acts of state violence," the release said.

10TV has reached out to Columbus police and Chief Quinlan for comment.

Mayor Andrew Ginther put out a request for people to submit their photos, videos or accounts of police using excessive force for a civilian review.

Categories: Ohio News

Stonewall Columbus calls for police chief to step down, other department changes

News Channel 4 - Mon, 06/01/2020 - 13:55

COLUMBUS (WCMH) — An advocacy group for the LGBTQ+ community has called for the resignation of Columbus’ Chief of Police after the actions of officers during protests in downtown Columbus this past weekend.

Stonewall Columbus posted a statement on its Facebook page Monday, calling for Columbus Division of Police Chief Thomas Quinlan to resign, among other changes, to avoid “unjust acts of state violence.”

“Over the past three years, Stonewall Columbus has worked with the Columbus Division of Police to improve their officer training and de-escalation strategies,” the organization posted. “It has become clear that there is a need for true reform to eliminate the systemic racism and culture of violence. And it is clear that this reform can not come from within the Columbus Division of Police. We need new leadership.”

Monday marked the fifth straight day of protests in downtown Columbus due to the death of George Floyd while in police custody in Minneapolis last week.

Among other changes Stonewall Columbus is asking for are:

  • Immediate release and dropped charges for all protesters held after recent events.
  • Establishment of an independent Civilian Review Commission to oversee investigations into police use of force.
  • Implementation of the recommendations from the Community Safety Advisory Commission and the Matrix Report.

The commission’s report, released last August, found that more than half of black employees within the Columbus Police Department experienced discrimination and that black Columbus residents had a less positive view of police than the population as a whole.

“The LGBTQ+ community has fought these fights before, and we will continue to do so on behalf of our trans community, on behalf of those who face discrimination for being gay, and for those who simply exist and are discriminated against because of the color of their skin,” Stonewall Columbus posted.

An autopsy commissioned for Floyd’s family found that he died of asphyxiation due to neck and back compression when a Minneapolis police officer held his knee on Floyd’s neck for several minutes and ignored his cries of distress, the family’s attorneys said Monday.

Categories: Ohio News

Columbus City Council President Hardin releases statement after being pepper sprayed while protesting

News Channel 4 - Mon, 06/01/2020 - 13:23

COLUMBUS (WCMH) — Columbus City Council President Shannon Hardin released a statement Monday two days after he, along with Congresswoman Joyce Beatty and Franklin County Commissioner Kevin Boyce, were among those who were pepper sprayed by police during Saturday’s protests.

In an interview with NBC4 on Sunday, Hardin called for ‘real police reform,’ saying police, at times, went too far during protests Saturday. On Monday, Columbus Mayor Andrew Ginther addressed that concern by asking for reports of excessive force by Columbus police.

The reports will be investigated by a civilian outside the chain of command from the Department of Public Safety’s Equal Employment Opportunity Compliance Office, which was created last year to address discrimination complaints.

Hardin’s statement on Monday dealt with his participation in Saturday’s protest and his reaction to being pepper sprayed by police while protesting.

With dried pepper spray tears on my shirt, I am shaken, saddened, and angry. I’m angry that racist violence against black people seems to change its form but never ends. I’m shaken at the feeling of powerlessness experienced by so many when they see visceral racism. And when folks try to grasp power and take to the streets they face hundreds of police officers maintaining order while reinforcing the violence inherent in police powers. I’m saddened that for many watching from the comfort of their homes, the violence of a few on the fringe will give yet one more excuse to do nothing to challenge the status quo of racism in America.

I will never forget the burning blindness of indiscriminate pepper spray as I stood with Congresswoman Joyce Beatty and County Commissioner Kevin Boyce trying to keep the crowd on the sidewalks. I’m not a natural protester. I like to sit around a table to hash out policies and plans. But I felt I needed to show up as a black man because George Floyd should be alive. Breonna Taylor should be alive. Ahmaud Arbery should be alive. Tyre King should be alive.

Our residents in Columbus and citizens across the nation are speaking out in a thousand ways to say we need immediate action. The people are speaking. I hear them. Now we must get to a shared table and use this powerful voice to make change real. We cannot do that if the table is on fire.

As a black, gay City Council President of America’s 14th largest city, I know my story is only possible because of protests past. The beatings, dogs, and hoses used through the South during Dr. King’s marches and the Stonewall Riots. We must stand against oppression.

Despite real reasons for anger, I do not excuse the few who walk amongst the protesters and choose to be destructive. Many of these folks come from outside of Columbus with their own agendas and are not seeking constructive change. These are not the protesters I know and am happy to work with.

I also want to acknowledge that our police officers are tired. Many have been out for days and days, sporting bruises from where they were hit with rocks and frozen water bottles. Protesters are bruised from wooden bullets and more. Both sides need time to rest and heal.

We must use this civil unrest to accelerate progress on real, specific reforms to fight systematic racism.

Later today at Council, Columbus will pass a resolution declaring racism a public health crisis. Franklin County has already lead the way on this cause, Mayor Ginther concurs, and we are all united in calling on other levels of regional and state government to join hands with us in honestly addressing the negative impacts of racism.

Today I also call on local leaders to help make policing reforms real this year. We must make concrete moves on the 80 recommendations from the Community Safety Advisory Commission ranging from recruitment, training, diversity and inclusion, community engagement, and independent investigations.

Columbus needs to establish independent investigations into police use of force, including negotiating a Civilian Review Commission into the next police contract. The Fraternal Order of Police has long opposed such a move, and I call on them to join us at the table to get this done.

Having experienced it first hand, we need to change the use of crowd disbursal techniques and stop spraying dangerous gases into peaceful crowds. The negative impacts far outweigh the temporary control it gives officers.

We must diversify our safety divisions, and train cultural competency for the dozens of diverse international communities that call Columbus home.

Our Police Chief is working for internal reforms. I want him and every officer to know that we want you to succeed. But we will not accept the status quo or those who cover up for egregious past acts of violence on duty.

Fighting racism is imperative in every sector and part of our society, not just policing. Through race-conscious policy-making, we’ve got to unwind the generations of racist policies in housing, public health, education, and elsewhere. On corporate boards and in the philanthropic sector we need to see clear, measured strategies to combat racial disparities.

I do truly believe that things can get better. As a Christian, I’ve been thinking a lot about grace over the past couple of days. It’s something we need to extend to one another now more than ever. And with that renewed goodwill towards one another, we can move forward with resolve and create a more just Columbus.

Shannon Hardin, Columbus City Council President
Categories: Ohio News

Ohio Controlling Board approves $873 million in COVID-19 relief funds

News Channel 4 - Mon, 06/01/2020 - 13:08

COLUMBUS (WCMH) – The Ohio state Controlling Board approved another round of funding to support efforts to control the COVID-19 outbreak statewide and provide relief for Ohio’s schools and small businesses. The funding is worth $873 million, according to House Democrats.

“Ohio is still behind in testing, and while this funding doesn’t achieve what’s needed, it’s a step in the right direction,” said House Minority Leader Emilia Strong Sykes (D-Akron).  “Additionally, we’re able to direct more funds to strengthen our public schools and support small businesses, especially our minority-owned businesses who’ve been hit hardest amid the uncertainty of this pandemic.”

State funds approved by the Controlling Board Monday include:

  • $238.4 million to the Ohio Department of Health to conduct lab testing to combat the COVID-19 outbreak
  • $3 million for the Ohio Department of Medicaid for emergency preparedness in nursing home facilities in reaction to the COVID-19 outbreak
  • $3.9 million to the Ohio Department of Health for the purchase of reagents and lab supplies 

“The ongoing health and economic crisis has had a profound impact on our state’s bottom line, resulting in some hard but necessary cuts to spending,” said Rep. Erica Crawley (D-Columbus). “This influx of federal funds helps to stop the bleeding, but we will have more work to do to ensure fiscal stability while maintaining critical taxpayer services.”

The Controlling Board approved an additional $628 million in federal funds to address the fiscal impact of coronavirus on state and local governments and small businesses, including:

  • $280 million from the federal CARES Act to support Ohio school districts
  • $162 million over the next two years for community development and services grants
  • $120 million for low-income housing and home energy assistance grants
  • $31 million to the Ohio Department of Aging for nutritional programs, caregiver support for seniors and other services
  • $10 million to establish a direct loan fund for small businesses impacted by COVID-19 in Ohio’s 32 Appalachian counties
  • $20 million to establish a personal protective equipment (PPE) manufacturing grant program
  • $5 million to create the COVID-19 Economic Relief Grant Program for minority-owned businesses
Categories: Ohio News

Mayor Ginther asks for reports of excessive force by Columbus police

News Channel 4 - Mon, 06/01/2020 - 12:53

COLUMBUS (WCMH) — Columbus Mayor Andrew Ginther is asking for people to send evidence of excessive force by the Columbus Division of Police to a special email address for civilian review.

According to a social media post by the mayor:

If you have photos, videos, or accounts of the Columbus Division of Police using excessive force over the weekend, please send as much detail as possible to reportCPD@columbus.gov. Your information will be investigated by a civilian (outside the chain of command) from the Department of Public Safety’s Equal Employment Opportunity Compliance Office, created last year to address discrimination complaints.

Categories: Ohio News

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