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Columbus Leaders Urge Cooperation With Police After Gun Violence Spike

Columbus Police Chief Tom Quinlan at a press conference on Feb. 4, 2020.
Nick Evans
Columbus Police Chief Tom Quinlan at a press conference on Feb. 4, 2020.

Ten people were shot in Columbus over the weekend, and three people were killed. According to the city of Columbus, all of the victims were under the age of 26. 

Mayor Andrew Ginther, along with Columbus Police Chief Tom Quinlan and community and faith leaders, held a press conference Monday asking for community involvement and engagement to help stop the violence.

Ginther says thissummer's shootings outpace recent years in Columbus, but they mirror what's happening in other cities around the country.

"It isn't unique to Columbus," he says, "but we are responsible for how our community responds to the spike in violence."

Some city efforts targeting gun violence have been limited due to the pandemic. One such program is the Violent Crime Review Group, which engages with community members after a shooting. The group usually knocks on doors or throws events as outreach, but because of health concerns, they are mostly reaching out by phone.

However, the mayor says local efforts are not enough.

"Despite our efforts for common sense gun legislation, state and federal law limits what we can do locally," Ginther says. "We need help from the state and federal levels of government to help us take illegal guns off the street."

Ginther says there is no link between recent Black Lives Matter protests and the uptick in violence. But Quinlin urged the community to trust the police to help solve these crimes.

"This needs to be a community effort," he says. "One where, as a community, we interact with the police."

Other city leaders urged community members to engage with kids who aren't able to utilize school-related programming because of the pandemic.