COLUMBUS, Ohio (WCMH) – Hundreds of protesters marched the streets of downtown Columbus Saturday demanding justice, calling on city leaders to take action in cases where people died from police brutality and incidents related to race.
The rally was not for one specific person; demonstrators said the march is seeking justice for them all.
Protesters said it’s hard for them to believe they still have to march, adding there has been little to no change in the community, and that they will keep demonstrating until there is action.
“It makes absolutely no sense why this keeps happening,” said Ramon Obey II, an organizer for Justice, Unity, and Social Transformation.
Participants said the demonstration is for every person in Columbus who died from police brutality or a race-driven incident, and that the marches will continue until those families have justice.
“If we are able to amplify the family’s voices, the community’s voice, then I think we succeeded today,” Obey said.
The family of Casey Goodson Jr. joined the march. Goodson was shot and killed by Franklin County Sheriff’s Deputy Jason Meade in December 2020. The family is still awaiting trial.
Donovan Lewis was shot and killed by former Columbus police officer Ricky Anderson in August; Lewis’ family is still waiting for an indictment in the case.
The marchers were also there for 13-year-old Sinzae Reed, who was shot and killed in October by 37-year-old Krieg Butler. Just this week, a Franklin County grand jury announced Butler, who claimed the shooting was self-defense, would not be charged with homicide in Reed’s death.
“Sinzae could have been me,” said Dejuan Sharp, a spokesperson for the Reed family. “Sinzae could have been out here advocating for people or being a lawyer or a congressman.”
That’s why they march.
“Next, we need to go to the federal government,” Sharp said. “We tried to go our legal route, our local route and we just feel like we are pleading on deaf ears.”
The people at the rally hope city leaders see the protest and start communicating with them about what is really happening in these cases.