COLUMBUS (WCMH) — Columbus City Council met Monday to discuss a proposal that would add a search for hate group affiliations in background checks on police officers.
It is just one part of a legislative package that aims to improve policing in the city.
Columbus resident Austin Owens was one of the reasons for Monday’s discussion.
He had a chance to speak about what inspired him to send his thoughts and ideas to city council.
Owens said after attending a rally, he learned that within Columbus Police’s hiring standards, there is nothing that says a prospective officer can’t be a member of a hate group.
“I would like to live in a city where citizens know their safety is not contingent on the color of their skin, their sexual orientation or any other immutable characteristics,” Owens said. “if I get pulled over for speeding, I should be viewed as a speeder and not an African American speeder or whatever the case may be.”
Council’s legislation also includes independent investigations into lethal force, banning or limiting no-knock raids, and demilitarizing the police.