Not everything is sunshine and Roses in Columbus Ohio at the moment. The Columbus mayor Andrew Ginther has asked for a formal review of racial bias in the city's police force from the US Department of Justice. Now you may be thinking that this seems like an extreme measure but for what goes on in the Columbus Police Force this is not extreme at all. The mayor is highly aware of the racial Injustice is in Columbus going as far as making racism a public health outbreak. the mayor in a letter to Robert Chapman the justice department acting deputy director. I asked for the review of the city police's operations to identify any racial biases in policing efforts in order to offer Solutions to the reform.
This cry for help comes a week after an officer fatally shot a 16-year-old. This wouldn't be such a big deal If the bodycam footage didn't show something utterly disturbing. The footage showed the 16-year-old holding what looks to be a knife and the police officer fired 4 shots at her almost immediately upon arriving.
The major plan on welcoming to the DOJ and hope to work cooperatively with them on this police reform. They are fully aware that if the Justice Department finds fault in the police department that the DOJ has full right to take charge to enforce change.
The mayor is shooting for all of this to begin within the next 30 days. Even though the mayor is pushing for police reform the progress seems to be very scarce. That's why the mayor has gotten a higher court-involved so he can show his community that he is pushing for change. Unfortunately, since January 2020 8 people have been killed in shootings involving Columbus and Franklin County Police. Not all of these were racially charged but they can be questionable. again just showing the mayor and the community that something needs to change. A study that was released in February found out that Franklin County has among the highest rates of law enforcement shootings in Ohio, and unfortunately it's one of the highest in the US. This study again pushes the mayor to see that there needs to be significant change done and that's all he's trying to do.
From the views of citizens many states that everyone needs to stop picking sides and unite against a common ground. The mayor has stated that they have taken several steps to unite the community and make the police force better yet one must ask is it only because of how bad the racism has gotten in Columbus. During the protest of 2020 after George Floyd's death, the mayor banned the use of pepper spray, wooden bullets, and non-lethal methods of crowd control for being used against protesters. After seeing multiple instances of their use being resulted in injury or heavy criticism. That all came about from previous protesters who filed lawsuits against the city alleging that they were brutalized by officers who use those non-lethal methods. This was a win for protesters because it caused police officers to know that they cannot inflict pain or punishment to deter protesters. As well as making sure that their body Cam and vehicle cameras are in good working order so they can capture every interaction whether violent or non-violent.
In mid-July after the many weeks of riots, the Columbus city council even tried to make changes in the police force. They wanted to look at how the police operate and see what can be changed for minority groups as well as others. The council voted to stop no-knock search warrants, prohibit police officers from affiliating with serious hate groups, and ban military equipment or military-type equipment. Though this still begs the question we're all these changes being made and being pushed due to being scared about the repercussions of the George Floyd killing. Though the killing brought up change but was it change for the good of the community or was it change so no one got their hand slapped. Whether or not the change came about for a scary reason at least there's change trying to be made and people are trying to make things better for the greater good.
There are councils and Boards are being made in Columbus so minority groups and black Americans can flourish there and feel safe at the end of the day. Though it is sad that many black Americans have had to leave Columbus, hopefully in the future things can be better. . everything will be fixed overnight but with the mayor's backing hopefully, we can get things fixed faster.