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Columbus Leaders Encourage Peaceful Protests Following Thursday's Violence

Shannon Hardin
Nick Evans
Shannon Hardin

City leaders are urging protestors in Columbus to remain peaceful after clashes with the police on Thursday night.

Columbus leaders insist residents are right to be angry about racism after George Floyd died at the hands of police officers in Minneapolis. They encouraged residents to express that frustration through protest.

But City Council President Shannon Hardin also urged them to remain peaceful.

“Protest is good. Protest is right. Protest is the only natural expression of hurt people,” Hardin says. “We should be upset because the world is not as it should be. But I want to personally ask the community to make their outrage heard through nonviolent means.”

Hardin said that he went to Thursday night’s protests, but he and others left because they felt uncomfortable.

“Many friends fighting for justice were there, yet they left because it was getting violent,” Hardin says. “We need people to have the ability to protest safely, that’s a responsibility that’s both on our shoulders, the shoulders of the police and anyone who shows up to protest.”

Further demonstrations are happening throughout the weekend, including one on the Southside Friday evening and another planned for Saturday morning at the statehouse.

Nick Evans was a reporter at WOSU's 89.7 NPR News. He spent four years in Tallahassee, Florida covering state government before joining the team at WOSU.