City Council President Welcomes Possible Federal Probe Of Police Shootings
A day after the People's Justice Project and other protestors packed City Hall and halted a Columbus City Council meeting, relatives of two African-Americans killed by police met with reporters. Dearrea King, the grandmother of 13-year-old Tyre King, expressed how difficult it's been since her grandson's death.
King was shot and killed by a white officer earlier this month. Police officials have said King reached for a pellet gun that looked like a real firearm. 23-year-old Henry Green was shot and killed by undercover officers in June after he allgedly fired a handgun in their direction. Witnesses said Green was openly carrying a weapon as allowed under Ohio law and the officers did not identify themselves. Green's mother Adrienne Hood offered the following suggestion.
Families and advocates want independent investigations into the King and Green cases and all future fatal officer-involved shootings. Family attorneys say they've had discussions with the Justice Department regarding the Green case and have been told the feds will respect the local process for now. Attorneys say they have not heard back from the department regarding the King case. Columbus City Council president and Democratic candidate for Franklin County Prosecutor Zach Klein says in an emailed statement he's confident police will conduct thorough investigations. Klein says if the Justice Department wants to get involved, council would welcome its participation. In 1997, the department filed suit against the city, saying police engaged in a pattern or practice of abusing citizen civil rights. A consent decree was reached in the year 2000 settling the lawsuit. Part of the deal involved moving the internal affairs bureau from police headquarters to the east side. The bureau was headed by Kim Jacobs, who is now the chief of police.