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Grand Jury Considers Indictment Of Columbus Officers Who Killed Henry Green

Esther Honig
Protests erupted in June 2016 after the fatal police shooting of Henry Green.

Monday marked the first day in the grand jury trial of two Columbus police officers who shot and killed 23-year-old Henry Green in June 2016. A decision on whether or not the officers will be indicted could be released as soon as Friday.

In the months following Green's death, Tammy Fournier Alsaada, with the People's Justice Project, led the call for an independent investigation. Several times over the summer, the group gathered hundreds of community members and faith leaders to march downtown and demonstrate at city hall. 

The case was never turned over to an independent investigator. After Columbus Police carried out the initial investigation, the prosecutor's office brought in the Attorney General's office to carry out a supplemental investigation.  

Now, Alsaada says she's hoping for an indictment.

By law, testimony and evidence presented before a grand jury is kept secret. Alsaada says that if the jury does indict the officers, the case will go to trial. 

"We need to get to a place of transparency where the evidence can be presented in a fair way, non-biased way, so that we can get justice for the life of Henry Green," Alsaada says.

County prosecutor Ron O'Brien said in a statement that in every case where a police officer is responsible for the death of a citizen, the circumstances are reviewed by an independent body of citizens.

"It is not a case of police officers investigating police officers who make a judgment on charges. Or prosecutors who work regularly with police who are making the final decision."

In O'Brien's 20 years in office, no officer has been indicted for shooting a civilian.