On December 22, 2020, the unjust death of Andre Hill shook the citizens of Columbus, Ohio, becoming yet another example of racial injustice and police brutality. The public called for justice for the 47-year-old black man’s death, as well as the dismissal and prosecution of the offending officers.
Although some justice was served when former Officer Adam Coy was discharged and Hill’s family was given a settlement of 10 million dollars, there was still the question as to what the police would do to ensure this event didn’t happen again. Even after the prosecution of Coy, police brutality was still evident, and the people called for the police department to make reforms to the system.
Mayor Andrew Ginther decided that the first step to reforming the Columbus police department was to start by electing a new police chief. After former police chief Thomas Quinlan stepped down from his station, the city decided to reach out to officers from out of state to apply for the position. Of those chosen, the finalists have been narrowed down to four candidates: Elaine Bryant, Derrick Diggs, Avery Moore, and Ivonne Roman.
Ginther declared that this was the first time the city of Columbus would be given a chief from out-of-state and praised his faith in the class selected for the position. The mayor arranged for citizens to be able to meet the contestants via a virtual town hall meeting on Wednesday 19th to get to know their options for their newly elected police chief.
After the injustices witnessed not only in Ohio, but throughout the entirety of America, someone needs to step up and spark change within the police department.
"I do believe in reforming the division of police and that is what we've been all about.” Ginther stated, “That is why I fought so hard for this June police class that starts next month. One of the most diverse classes that we've had in recent history for the city."
While promoting diversity is one thing, purging racism is quite another. However, one can only be hopeful that these candidates will be able to not only lead by example, but also reform the police department for the better. Perhaps then, the actions that brought an end to an innocent man’s life will never happen again.