Gov. Mike DeWine released a statement on Friday showing his displeasure with the recent vandalism at the Ohio Capitol.
“I have spoken with Ohio State Highway Patrol Col. Richard Fambro about security at the Statehouse, and I shared with him my anger and disgust at the vandalism that occurred at the Ohio Statehouse yesterday. I support the right to peacefully protest. However, defacing, damaging, and vandalizing our state capitol and its grounds are wrong, and such actions are criminal,” DeWine said.
“The Ohio State Highway Patrol is conducting a criminal investigation into yesterday’s acts, and they will send their findings to the appropriate authorities for potential prosecution,” he added.
On Friday, protesters took to the Ohio Statehouse to protest police brutality. These protests were sparked by the death of George Floyd.
While these protesters gathered outside the Capitol, some decided to deface the Ohio Statehouse building by putting “red hand prints and the phrase ‘hands up, don’t shoot’ in protest of police brutality.”
Ohio’s Statehouse has been damaged by protesters twice in the last three weeks. The first time came in the early morning of May 29 when protesters damaged the statehouse by breaking 28 windows and setting the lawn on fire.
DeWine at the time of the initial protest took a lighter tone with protesters.
“Protests expressing outrage are not only understandable, but they are also appropriate. We want Ohioans to exercise their First Amendment rights no matter what they’re protesting,” he said. “Ohioans should speak out against wrongdoing. Ohioans should speak out for change. They should speak out for unity for an end to injustice. In all aspects of our lives, we must not allow hate to prevail over love, kindness, and compassion.”
To help address future mass protests, DeWine asked Ohio’s Collaborative Community-Police Advisory Board (CCPAB) last week to begin developing uniform minimum standards related to mass protests in an effort to improve community-police relations in the state.
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Zachery Schmidt is the digital editor of Star News Digital Media. If you have any tips, email Zachery at [email protected] Follow Zachery on Twitter @zacheryschmidt2.
Photo “Ohio Statehouse Protesters” by Becker1999. CC BY 2.0.