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City Will Work With Police Shootings Protestors

Oct 4, 2016

Zach Klein
Credit columbus.gov

There were no disruptions of last night's Columbus City Council meeting as there were last week, when activists seeking justice in the police shooting deaths of two African-Americans shut down the meeting.

Activists yesterday protested outside of City Hall after council president and Democratic candidate for Franklin County Prosecutor Zach Klein and members of the People's Justice Project announced they had met several times since the protest.

Klein said the city will consider changes to the Summer Safety Initiative, also known as the summer strike force, which was one of the demands protesters issued last month after the deaths of Tyre King and Henry Green. Protestors say the initiative designed to fight crime unfairly targets black neighborhoods. Klein says changes are coming.

Changes could mean redistributing the city money spent on the program. The Mayor's office is crafting the city's 2017 budget proposal, which must be submitted to council by November 15. That likely will include redistributing the money other areas, as well as transforming the program into one that fights gangs. After the announcement yesterday, protesters marched to Franklin County Prosecutor Ron O'Brien's office to reiterate their demands for independent probes of the King and Green shootings, asking for a response by the end of business on Friday. During last night's meeting, Council approved legislation to sell 485 million dollars in bonds to pay down some municipal debt. City Auditor Hugh Dorrian.

443 million dollars of the sale is to cover voter approved bond money from 2010 through 2014. The rest covers debt incurred during that time through legislative action.