Craig, Crawley Statement on Police-Involved Shooting of Columbus Man
December 23, 2020
Today, state Senator Hearcel F. Craig (D-Columbus) and state Representative Erica C. Crawley (D-Columbus) released the following statement:
"We release this joint statement, with devastation and frustration, regarding the fatal police shooting of an unarmed Black man in Columbus that happened early yesterday morning. It has been less than three weeks since the unjust police shooting of Casey Goodson Jr., and now here we are again discussing another tragic killing of an unarmed Black man.
"Early on Tuesday, December 22, around 1:37 a.m., Columbus police officers were responding to a neighbor’s non-emergency call. At the scene, one of the officers fired his weapon and fatally shot an unarmed Black man. At 2:25 a.m., the man was pronounced dead at Riverside Methodist Hospital. With the engagement of the Bureau of Criminal Investigation conducting this investigation, there must be accountability and transparency in this case.
"One of the most concerning aspects of this situation is that the officers did not have their body cameras on, and the police cruiser dash camera was also off. We are disturbed by the total disregard for human life that is shown continuously in this country and seen most recently – and frequently – in Columbus. We don’t know how much you can change the hearts and minds of individuals who will continue to see Black people as a threat. You can’t train that fear and hatred away. There is something deeply wrong within the Columbus Police Department and there needs to be answers. While it is true that many members of the Columbus Division of Police honor their positions with integrity and responsibility, the flagrant and malicious actions of those who abuse their authority and public trust must be swiftly and deliberately punished. The status quo is not working for our community, and the recently developed civilian review board needs to be activated and fully engaged to ensure justice is being served.
"It is critical that we see changes to our laws because if they continue to stand as they do now, we will continue to see devastating deaths of unarmed Black men and women at the hands of police. We will continue to see little to no accountability or transparency. We will continue to see injustice and the devastation of families and communities. We are still seeking justice for all the Black men who have been killed in Columbus, including Casey Goodson Jr. We demand accountability for this man as well.
"Our condolences go out to the family and friends of this man and we offer our support to them as there are no words for such an unimaginable loss.
"Enough is enough, justice must be served. Our community has lost too many lives to gun violence already."