The Ohio chapters of Moms Demand Action and Students Demand Action, both part of Everytown for Gun Safety’s grassroots networks, released the following statement after a Columbus police officer shot and killed a Black man who was unarmed overnight while responding to a non-emergency call. Authorities haven’t released the name of either.
The officer who fired was wearing a body-worn camera that was not turned on at the time of the shooting, a fact Mayor Andrew Ginther called “unacceptable” Tuesday. The officer has been relieved of duty.
“We deserve better than this,” said Shela Blanchard, a volunteer with the Ohio chapter of Moms Demand Action. “This is the second Black man to be shot and killed by law enforcement in Columbus within the last month. Black people deserve public safety, and all of Columbus deserves a thorough and transparent investigation into what happened in both these cases. We will not accept any less. Black people are tired, we’re frustrated, we need and deserve effective change.”
The shooting came just weeks after a sheriff’s deputy shot and killed Casey Goodson Jr., a Black 23-year-old in Columbus. According to WOSU, Franklin County Sheriff’s Deputy Jason Meade shot and killed Goodson at the door of his house while his family was inside, including five adults and four children. According to the family’s lawyers, “Casey was shot and killed as he unlocked his door and entered his home” and “his death was witnessed by his 72-year-old Grandmother and two toddlers who were near the door.” Goodson’s 5-year-old brother also witnessed him lying on the kitchen floor after he was shot.
Black people in the United States are nearly three times more likely to be shot and killed by law enforcement than their white counterparts, and data from Mapping Police Violence shows that most people killed by police are killed with guns and that 99% of killings by the police from 2013-2019 did not result in officers being charged with a crime. In Ohio, police shot and killed 204 people between 2009-2019.