Mayor Andrew J. Ginther addressed masked members of the media at the Michael B. Coleman Government Center on Wednesday. In the mayor’s address, Ginther gave an update on who would be heading the investigations into police response to protests.
“I challenge the FOP in joining the community in demanding change and reform,” Ginther said during the press conference.
Ned Pettus, Director of Public Safety, introduced Ginther before he announced the two independent entities charged with completing an administrative and criminal review of the Columbus Division of Police.
The law firm BakerHostetler is being brought in to review cases that require administrative action outside of police policy and are open for discipline with the CPD. So far 40 incidents have been identified for referral to the law firm.
A professional investigator, also a retired FBI agent, will be brought in to review 16 incidents that may result in criminal charges. The name of the professional investigator has not yet been disclosed.
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Although Ginther mentioned that the images of the use of pepper spray by the CPD “don’t live up to community or (his) standards,” he did support the continued use of it being dispersed amongst peaceful protestors who were impeding traffic. Ginther did bring up that the city has encouraged peaceful protestors to stay on sidewalks.
Ginther also announced the workgroup that would help establish the future civilian review board, which is slated for creation by the end of the year Those city officials include:
· Jasmine Ayres, community organizer, People’s Justice Project
· Fred Benton, attorney
· Bo Chilton, President and CEO, Impact Community Action
· Dr. Lewis Dodley, IMPACT Community Action
· Stephanie Hightower, President and CEO of Columbus Urban League
· Pastor Frederick LaMarr, President, Baptist Pastors Conference
· Kent Markus, General/Bar Counsel, Columbus Bar Association
· Jonathan McCombs, Dean of College of Health and Public Administration, Franklin University
· Ismail Mohammad, attorney, Ismail Law Office
· Densil R. Porteous, Chair, Create Columbus
· Aslyne Rodriguez, Director of Government Affairs, COTA
· Janay Stevens, President, John Mercer Langston Bar Association, Associate, Vorys, Sater, Seymour and Pease LLP
· Kyle Strickland, Senior Legal Analyst, Kirwin Institute
· Erin Synk, Director of Government Relations, LNE Group
· Nana Watson, President, NAACP Columbus
· Anthony Wilson, Vice President National Organization of Black Law Enforcement – Columbus Chapter