Demonstrators have list of demands for city hall after Tyre King shooting
COLUMBUS, Ohio (WSYX/WTTE) - The People's Justice Project and dozens of other demonstrators held a rally at Columbus City Hall Monday afternoon. Organizers said they are demanding justice for Tyre King and calling on the city to "re-prioritize and re-invest in programs that actually keep our communities safer."
Aramis Sundiata with People's Justice Project said he will give the city a week to answer their list of demands. "We will bring hundreds of people to watch City Council make their decision at the very beginning of the meeting on September 26th."
Their demands included:
1. Turn the Summer Safety Initiative over to the community
2. Cut police budget in half and invest the money in prevention, intervention and community controlled policing
3. Instead of putting $8.4 million for police facility improvements re-direct money to trauma recovery and healing services
4. Task force for criminal justice reform appointed by the community
5. Independent investigation of police involved shootings
Faith leaders called on the demonstrators to pray for the city, and asked the crowd to "take a knee" to show strength and courage to hold city officials accountable following the police involved shooting of 13-year-old Tyre King. The group is also working on an online petition and a get out the vote drive.
Columbus Assistant Safety Director Cathy Collins said they have community engagement and outreach initiatives for the city already. But they are open on where they need to fill any gaps.
"As we are trying to become more transparent with body worn cameras and with best technology to make officers accountable, with improved training that is all part of demands in the past those all come at a price," said Collins."The police budget is very tight,money would have to be found elsewhere."
As for the call for an independent investigation of Tyre King's death, Collins said they believe the current process is adequate.
"The city is following the routine that they have always followed in this case and that is to do their own investigation per their firearms review board policy." Then the case is sent to the Franklin County Prosecutor. "He kind of takes over at that point and will decide if it goes to grand jury, which is a grand jury of citizen peers," said Collins.
The city also recently announced the formation of the Department of Neighborhoods to help coordinate programs to help with intervention and prevention initiatives. It has the Restoration Academy and the city also has five specialty courts, drug court, catch court (human trafficking), opiate court, veterans court, and mental health court to help get people back on track.
The demonstration comes as lawyers for Tyre King's family issued a news release saying they have hired an independent medical examiner from Detroit to issue autopsy results. The Franklin County Coroner said it is not expected to release its report for at least six weeks.