Calls for the Resignation of Mayor Ginther, Chief Quinlan Grow
Protesters have launched the Committee to Recall Ginther, a grassroots effort that has announced a recall petition demanding the mayor’s resignation.
The announcement coincided with a Black Lives Matter protest on Monday evening, where demonstrators laid face down at the Ohio Statehouse — arms behind their back — chanting “I can’t breathe” in memory of George Floyd, the black man in Minneapolis who was murdered last week.
Also on Monday, Stonewall Columbus announced it is calling for Columbus Division of Police Chief Thomas Quinlan to resign.
The organization announced the call in a statement, read in part below.
“Over the past three years, Stonewall Columbus has worked with the Columbus Division of Police to improve their officer training and de-escalation strategies. It has become clear that there is a need for true reform to eliminate the systemic racism and culture of violence. And it is clear that this reform can not come from within the Columbus Division of Police. We need new leadership.”
Stonewall Columbus also called for a number of actions to ensure “accountability for the unjust acts of state violence,” including the immediate release and dropped charges for protesters, the carrying out of recommendations from the Community Safety Advisory Commission and the Matrix Report, and the establishment of the independent Civilian Review Commission.
The change.org petition, addressed to Columbus City Council President Shannon Hardin and Columbus City Attorney Zach Klein and calling for the resignations of both officials, has 11,000 signatures and counting.
On Friday, Council President Hardin said he had spoken with Chief Quinlan, saying the chief had asked his officers to “hold back.” On Saturday, Council President Hardin and other officials were pepper sprayed by Columbus officers.
On Monday, Mayor Ginther said he had a “very direct conversation” with the police chief on Sunday, adding that protesters would see a “very different approach.” Monday’s protest saw officers and the chief walking with protesters, although the night again ended in pepper spray for protesters and members of the media, including WOSU and Ohio State University student newspaper The Lantern.