Families Who Have Lost Loved Ones To Police March In Columbus
Hundreds of people in red shirts gathered at Columbus City Hall on Friday for a march to the Statehouse in honor of families who have lost loved ones during police encounters.
Adrienne Hood’s son, Henry Green, was shot and killed by plainclothes police in Columbus just over four years ago. Though police argued Green ignored commands to drop his gun, and both involved officers were not indicted, the case sparked outrage in Columbus.
Ever since, Hood has been active in calling for reform and accountability, but she says those efforts are about more than her son.
"This is about our community, and our community being safe,” she says. “I have a brother, I have a son, I have a grandson now, and the many other people that I love. We should be able to live and walk freely just like everybody else, right?"
Hood says this moment feels different, the chance for culture-shifting reform is real, and she says that’s because of young people.
“Our kids, our young people have a fire that is unexplainable, and they go for what they want and they’re not taking no for an answer and I want to be on that team,” Hood says.
Yolanda McNair and Kimberly Davis of Detroit both lost children in police encounters. They now run an organization called Protect Our Stolen Treasures, or POST, and they drove to Columbus for the day to show their support.
“It’s a club nobody wants to belong to,” Davis says of their shared story.
McNair is hoping for a fundamental shift in perception of the police.
"We want to see legislation change so our police officers are treated like the people they are," she says. “They're not superheroes, there's nothing special about them. They are a person who put on a badge and a gun and they need to be held accountable for the crimes they commit just like any other citizen."
Earlier this week, Mayor Andrew Ginther announced an executive order which would refer all cases of police-involved deaths to state authorities for investigation. He has also committed to making a citizen-led independent review board his top priority in upcoming contract negotiations with the police union.