Black Lives Matter protesters shut down City Council meeting, block traffic near OSU
COLUMBUS, Ohio (WSYX/WTTE) - Columbus City Council members were escorted out of council chambers after groups protesting police shootings took over the meeting Monday night. The Peoples Justice Project and supporters of the Black Lives Matter movemebt took over the meeting to protest the police shooting deaths of Tyre King and Henry Green.
The protesters say they wanted to share their list of demands, but were told to wait for their chance to speak at the end of the weekly City Council meeting. That's when a group of them stood up and began chanting. As Council members were escorted out, the group took over the platform to continue their chants.
Many of the protesters told ABC 6/FOX 28 they were "tired of waiting" and tired of their grievances being ignored.
City Council President Zach Klein said that he supports peaceful protest and wants to work with both groups to help move the city forward.
"We need transparency and accountability and we need to work together," said Klein.
Columbus police officers entered the chambers and stood behind protesters, making sure things stayed peaceful. Police told them if they didn't leave they'd be arrested. After several minutes, the group filed out, taking their chants to the streets.
"I don't know if you all understand the gravity of what we just did. We shut down the city council meeting," said one of the protest leaders to the crowd.
Near the Ohio State University campus, another group of protesters took over High Street, shutting down a couple of blocks as they blocked traffic. After standing in the road for several minutes, many of them marched across the street, where they staged a "die-in" at the Ohio Union, laying down on the floor as a symbol of dead victims.
After protesters left City Hall, the Columbus City Council resumed its meeting, going through the outlined agenda, without addressing the protest.