COLUMBUS, Ohio — Protests erupted nationwide in response to George Floyd's death after Minneapolis police officers knelt on him and pinned him to the ground on May 25. In Columbus, those protests began Thursday night and lasted into Friday morning, ending with damage to the Ohio Statehouse and other downtown buildings.
Thursday night saw a heavy police presence as the protest escalated -- where pedestrians were barred from joining the protest as it began to grow.
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At his press briefing Friday, I asked Gov. Mike DeWine if similar protest precautions to the ones taken in Columbus are being planned in other Ohio cities as more protests remain a possibility.
DeWine said local mayors are the ones responsible for their cities, but his administration will be ready to help if needed.
“I’ve had the opportunity every day to talk, most days, to talk to the mayors of our major cities,” said DeWine. “They are the ones that have primary responsibility for their cities. But they know that if they need assistance and help, we will work with them on any issue, certainly including this issue. But I know that we have good mayors; they’re very concerned about making sure that things are always done right in their cities. So I have confidence in these mayors. We are in touch. It’s not like we don’t talk, so certainly the first line of responsibility is with their police department, and with those mayors."
Friday’s press briefing was DeWine’s first briefing not related to COVID-19 since the state began ordering businesses to shut down.
DeWine said the actions of police involved in Floyd’s death “violates every principle of human decency" and "any kind of basic police training."
He is scheduled to address the public next on Tuesday, June 2.