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Columbus Council Approves Civilian Review Board Members

Columbus Police confront protesters at a demonstration downtown on June 2, 2020.
Paige Pfleger
File photo

Columbus City Council has signed off on the members for a new civilian review board, a major step in bringing Columbus in line with other cities that have increased oversight of police. The exact powers of the board are still uncertain and will be developed in the coming months after members select an inspector general, who will be charged with larger reviews of police policy.

A ballot measure on whether to create the board and inspector general position passed overwhelmingly on last November’s ballot. Columbus Mayor Andrew Ginther announced plans to put it before voters in the wake of last summer’s protests over racial inequities in policing.

Leaders of the local chapter of the Fraternal Order of Police have said they’re open to more oversight of police, but criticized the mayor for putting the review board question before voters and likened it to political grandstanding. Members of the board will include:

  • Brooke Burns, Chief Counsel, Juvenile Department at the Office of the Ohio Public Defender
  • Mark Fluharty, executive director of Central Ohio Labor Council
  • Janet Jackson, former Columbus City Attorney and Franklin County municipal judge, chair of Columbus Community Safety Advisory Commission
  • Dr. Chenelle Jones, assistant dean/chair of public safety programs, Franklin University, member of Columbus Community Safety Advisory Commission
  • Willard McIntosh, retired Columbus Division of Police officer
  • Pastor Rich Nathan, Vineyard Columbus
  • Kyle Strickland, attorney, The Ohio State University Roosevelt Institute
  • Randall Sistrunk, director of business development, Orange Barrel Media, member of Columbus Police Chief’s Advisory Panel
  • Rev. Charles Tatum, The Good Shepherd Baptist Church
  • Aaron Thomas, ASPIRE Medical Research Program Coordinator at The Ohio State University College of Medicine
  • Brooke Burns, Chief Counsel, Juvenile Department at the Office of the Ohio Public Defender

Thomas and Burns were added to the board by council and were not among the original nine appointees recommended by Ginther last month.