Protests continue at Ohio Statehouse, police actions under scrutiny

Protests Continue At Ohio Statehouse, Police Actions Under Scrutiny

COLUMBUS — Protesters returned to the Ohio Statehouse Monday for another loud demonstration that included bullhorns, a parade of cars with drivers honking their horns continuously and chants from the crowd, including “Don’t shoot” and “Black lives matter.” Dozens of Ohio State Highway Patrol Troopers stood on the front steps of the Statehouse, keeping the protesters from getting close to the building. Plywood still covered 28 windows on the Statehouse that were broken in a violent outburst last Thursday night.

A group of about 1,000 people gathered on the front lawn of the building late Monday before leaving to walk up High Street to continue the event at the Columbus Police Department headquarters building.

Content Continues Below

Police actions throughout the protests have come under scrutiny by several top office holders in city government. The President of Columbus City Council, Shannon Hardin, Franklin County Commissioner Kevin Boyce and Rep. Joyce Beatty, a Dayton native, were all pepper sprayed Saturday as they peacefully protested.

In a video released on Twitter, Beatty said she was in the crowd to show her support for them. Later, referring to photos of the incident involving the three office holders and others, Columbus Mayor Andrew Ginther said, “We have all seen images that cause us to question whether our police officers are responding as expected. While we believe the overwhelming response by our officers has been measured and restrained, if we are asking for peace and patience of protesters we must demand the same from our police,” Ginther said.

One bright spot emerged downtown late Monday. The front doors and windows of the Ohio Theatre that had been smashed in during the violence Saturday were covered with plywood and a new, inspirational mural. In large letters it reads, “Even the darkest night will end and the sun will rise.” The mural shows clouds giving way to a rising sun. The quote is from French poet Victor Hugo. The line is from the iconic musical “Les Miserables,” which played at the theatre late last year.