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Activists, Clergy Demand Former Police Chief Quinlan Be Fired

Feb 1, 2021

Columbus Mayor Andy Ginther announced last week that Police Chief Tom Quinlan was being demoted to Deputy Chief - a move many activists say is insuffient.

Central Ohio faith leaders and activists calling for the Division of Police's Tom Quinlan be fired delivered a letter with 300 signatures Monday to Mayor Andy Ginther.  

Last week Ginther announced that his office and the community had lost confidence in then-Chief Quinlan's ability to reform the Columbus Division of Police, and that he would step down from the top spot.  But many say Quinlan should be fired rather than simply demoted, and the city needs to bring in an outsider to change the culture within the division.

Community activist Adrienne Hood,  whose son Henry Green was shot and killed by police in 2016, says they city had a chance when Quinlan was hired in 2019 to look outside the Division for a new leader. 

"We were here this time last year.  The community spoke loud and clear, about wanting a chief to come from the outside.  The mayor acted like he heard us. Other elected officials acted like they were genuinely concerned. And yet and still, he chose someone from the inside.  I have said then, and I say now: cancer does not cure cancer.  And because of the leadership that continued to play within the Columbus Division of Police we are here now - not asking, but demanding that someone from the outside come in."

In Quinlan's one-year tenure the Division drew intense criticism for officers' response to police brutality protests this summer.  In December, the Division was slow to ask the state Bureau of Criminal Investigation to step in after a Franklin County sheriff's deputy shot and killed Casey Goodson Jr. Then days before Christmas, a Columbus officer shot and killed an unarmed black man just seconds after arriving on a non-emergency nuisance call. While officer Adam Coy was quickly dismissed, the Division faced investigation into why neither Coy nor any of the other officers on the scene attempted to provide aid to Hill for over five minutes.  

Columbus Mayor Andy Ginther says he takes responsibility for hiring Quinlan.  But also, that the city will focus on a national search for his replacement.