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Statements from Council President Hardin, Rep. Beatty and Commissioner Boyce on Baker Hostetler Report

Investigation into Police Misconduct Relating to May Protests

[Columbus] – The following statements are in response to the release of the reports relating to the external investigation by Baker Hostetler for the City of Columbus, including the actions of Public Safety officials involving U.S. Representative Joyce Beatty, Franklin County Commissioner Kevin Boyce and Columbus City Council President Shannon G. Hardin. The following statements can be attributed in full, or in part, to the listed individuals. 

From U.S. Representative Joyce Beatty (OH-3):

“Peaceful demonstrations are protected under the U.S. Constitution. Period. There is no reasonable rationale for allowing, authorizing, or excusing the use of disproportionate force against lawful demonstrators. It is telling to me that this report in no way gives a face or a voice to the emotion or the truth of the peaceful protest that was taking place. That fateful day was peaceful until officers showed up in riot gear and proceeded to escalate the situation quickly and dramatically. As a Black woman, I have seen too many examples of unwarranted excessive force against Black Americans. I have experienced personally and professionally the effects of systemic racism that has plagued our country for over 400 years, but I would have never anticipated that these sad truths would play out while serving in my official capacity as the Representative of Ohio’s Third Congressional District. Thankfully, no one was killed or seriously injured that day, but that’s not always the case. So, although I am extremely disappointed and strongly disagree with the report and its findings—which it is important to note were overseen and reviewed by contract law attorneys and not civil rights attorneys—all of us can agree that our community, state and nation are hurting. We can also agree that this report painfully highlights the need to pass meaningful police reform in Columbus and ensure greater accountability through the creation of an independent Inspector General and a citizen review board. Because when it happens to three elected officials, who just so happen to be Black, it speaks volumes to the likely behavior and aggression many citizens face from some in law enforcement.”

From Franklin County Commissioner Kevin Boyce: 

“Disappointment and disbelief dominate in my reaction to the Baker Hostetler investigation of my reported incident. The depiction of innocent protestors as agitators is absurd and offensive. We are once again witnesses to a demonstration of the deficiency and ineffectiveness of the system and how it is ultimately designed to discount and discredit. I gathered that day---to stand in solidarity on the principles of civil and social justice and denounce violence of any form. A plethora of media, including numerous video recordings of the melee have been viewed in the public realm, yet there were no findings of misconduct?  Action is needed to understand that the time is NOW to address the abuse of power and force and overhaul our system.”


From Columbus City Council President Shannon G. Hardin

“I am frustrated and disagree with the initial report and the fact that so few officers can be held accountable for their overt and unnecessary use of force. Once again in America, officers who acted in broad daylight with violence against unarmed civilians get a pass. The fact that so few complaints are being sustained is a damning indictment of the system of oversight, reinforcing the lack of faith black residents have in the system. It is clear Columbus must create an independent Citizen Review Board that has subpoena power to get to the facts and improve accountability for law enforcement.”



Lee Cole, City of Columbus, 614-645-5530
Tyler Lowry, Franklin County Commissioners, 614-525-6630
Dominic Manecke, Congresswoman Joyce Beatty, 202-225-4324