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Columbus Public Officials React To Verdict

Columbus City Council President Shannon Hardin speaks about the verdict ahead of Council's public hearing on the city's Civlian Review Board nominees.

Central Ohio officials are reacting to the conviction of Derek Chauvin in the murder of George Floyd.

"Today’s guilty verdict doesn’t bring back George Floyd," Columbus City Council President Shannon Hardin said. "It doesn’t bring back Andre Hill, Casey Goodson Jr., or those killed by law enforcement across our nation. But it does give us hope for accountability and better policing in the future. The bridges of trust are tenuous. However, we can rebuild them to ensure safety in all our neighborhoods."

“While this moment of accountability is a critical step in the march for equal justice, it doesn’t prevent the next unnecessary shooting or use of force," Hardin continued. "The path to lasting reform is to reduce the number of dangerous interactions between residents and law enforcement. We must find new ways to address mental health, substance abuse, homelessness, and nonviolent offenders. Our vision for an Office of Alternative Crisis Response is the necessary next step. We’ve asked law enforcement to do too much for too long, and truly reimagining public safety demands deep systematic change."

Columbus Mayor Andy Ginther released the following statement:

“This verdict is the best outcome following the tragic and unnecessary loss of life. It brings some measure of justice for those who knew and loved George Floyd, but it will not restore his life, nor will it erase the centuries of racial injustice that continues to plague our nation. As Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. said, ‘The arc of the moral universe is long, but it bends toward justice.’ Today the system worked, but we must build upon this moment to make change – together – and strive for justice and accountability in our own community.”

Franklin County Commissioners released this joint statement:

"Today’s verdict in Minnesota is a hopeful sign that times may be changing.  It is definitely a sign that Americans are no longer satisfied with the old system in which the police can often not be held accountable regardless of the circumstances of the case.

We believe that there is a way to write laws and police contracts so that law enforcement have the tools they need to do their important jobs while still being accountable to the public they serve.  We will fight for those changes in every place that we can, and we applaud the hard work and sacrifice of the many who have long fought to change this system for the better."

Mike Foley joined WCBE in February 2000, coming from WUFT in Gainesville, Florida. He earned Broadcasting and Journalism degrees from the University of Florida.