COLUMBUS, Ohio (WCMH) – After a week of protests downtown and in other parts of Columbus, a demonstration was also held outside Columbus Mayor Andrew Ginther’s home on Wednesday night. Hundreds marched in front of his house and in his neighborhood chanting, “Black lives matter,” “George Floyd,” “No justice, no peace” in addition to other chants.
At one point, protesters stopped and lay down on the street for eight minutes and 46 seconds to honor George Floyd.
“I’m here for my son,” said Paisha Thomas, who has a 20-year-old black son. “I’m afraid to let him walk to UDF at night because he could be gunned down because someones afraid of him and they call the police.”
She, like many of the other protesters who were there, are calling for change at the top.
“I’m just tired of it. I have a black son, I’m black and we’re done dying,” Thomas said.
The protesters said they want both the mayor and Columbus Police Chief Thomas Quinlan to resign. Former congressional candidate Morgan Harper was one of those protesting.
“We see continued issues of police brutality coming from the Columbus Police Department, other police departments. We really need to see a change in leadership to make sure these problems do not continue,” said Harper. “Just talking about implementing the recommendations from the matrix report, it’s honestly not enough.”
Chief Quinlan has previously said he understands the frustrations, but his job is to make changes and he said he’s done that with the mayor and will continue to do so. Protesters also say they want changes to the city’s contract with the police union and to see some police department funding go elsewhere in the city.
“Away from police and into the community. I think if we had funds into the community for resources and other things we wouldn’t need the amount of police he’s sending into our communities,” said Art Davis.. “I think we’re over policed.”
The mayor’s spokesperson sent the following statement about the protest outside his house:
“I am committed to the same racial justice protestors seek, and to rooting out racism and stopping police violence against people of color in Columbus and in every city in America. It is long past time, and we must get to work now. Columbus is taking action, and is making real change, but as we raise our collective voices to take a stand against racism, we must also pause to listen to each other. I hear these protestors and I ask them to join with me to do the hard work to combat racism in the days and weeks ahead.”