COLUMBUS (WCMH) — Columbus Mayor Andrew Ginther joined a large group of demonstrators as they marched in Columbus Sunday.
The march started at the St. Paul AME Church and ended at Shiloh Baptist Church.
Ginther told NBC4’s Dan Pearlman he was there to show his support for such peaceful protests.
“Critically important that we stay focused on peaceful protests, rooting out racism and discrimination wherever we find it,” Ginther said.
He added he is working on several initiatives to put an end to racism and discrimination in the community.
Ginther also said he spoke with Columbus Police Chief Thomas Quinlan about the police response to the protests, including the incident in which Rep. Joyce Beatty, City Council President Shannon Hardin and Franklin County Commissioner Kevin Boyce were pepper sprayed.
“I did this morning and I saw a number of pictures and videos from a variety of different places yesterday and I shared very directly and clearly with the chief that that did not meet my or the community’s expectations for how we engage peaceful protesters,” said Ginther.
Ginther said the chief is making changes to how officers respond to protesters, but he did not elaborate on what those changes would be. A police spokesperson did not return a message seeking clarification.
Dominic Manecke, a spokesperson for Beatty, issued the following statement:
“Congresswoman Beatty has had extensive communications with both Mayor Ginther and the Chief of Police and is pleased with the direction they are going in response to yesterday’s events.”