COLUMBUS (WCMH) — An appearance Saturday at the Ohio Statehouse by U.S. Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene has been postponed.
The “Back the Blue” rally, organized by Ohio Gun Owners to support law enforcement in general and Nicholas Reardon — the Columbus police officer who fatally shot Ma’Khia Bryant 10 days ago — in particular, listed Greene and former state treasurer Josh Mandel among its speakers.
Organizer Chris Dorr said the decision to postpone was made because security fencing used in previous rallies would be unavailable. In a video and post on Facebook, he said that would allow counterprotestors to disrupt the rally.
“Because the shock agents planning to counter-protest and disrupt our event are known to have a history of physical violence and destruction, the decision was made to postpone the event to a later date to ensure the safety of the men, women and children who were planning to attend,” the Facebook post read.
Dorr blamed attorneys for the Ohio Capitol Square Review and Advisory Board and the Ohio State Highway Patrol for the late change to the fencing policy.
The rally was promoted as supporting police. In the post, Reardon was called a “hero.” On April 20, he responded to a call on Legion Lane and, after spotting Bryant with a knife about to stab a woman, fired four shots at her. The 16-year-old died from the injuries, leading to protests against police violence. But the state Bureau of Criminal Investigation continues to look into the shooting, with Reardon being taken off street duty.
Greene posted a response to her Twitter feed.
“The Capitol Square Review and Advisory Board refused to provide security and refused to allow officers to be hired for security for me, a sitting Congresswoman as a speaker at a Pro-Police rally where BLM/Antifa were planning to antagonize rally goers,” she wrote.
“No seriously WHY???”
Greene is a Republican representative from Georgia known for supporting disproven conspiracy theories and for backing Donald Trump’s attempts to overturn the results of 2020 presidential election.
Mandel is running for U.S. Senate in 2022 to replace Republican Rob Portman, who is retiring. A representative from his campaign confirmed Mandel’s appearance, but he has yet to post a response about its postponement.