COLUMBUS (WCMH)–Columbus Mayor Andrew Ginther met Thursday with community leaders of the Linden neighborhood in a continuing effort to ease tensions after the fatal shooting of a 23-year-old man by undercover police officers.
Henry Green was shot and killed by two white officers June 6. The officers were working in the neighborhood as part of the summer community safety initiative.
Police say Green was holding a gun and despite orders to drop the gun, they say he raised his hand and fired at the officers. Green’s family and their attorneys say there are witnesses who contradict the police version of events.
The result has been tension and distrust among some in the community.
The meeting, organized by the mayor’s office, included the chief of police, city council members and several Linden community leaders. The meeting was not open to the media.
Pastor Dale Snyder of the Bethel AME church in Linden said after the meeting that he plans to file a formal, written complaint with the city hoping to trigger an independent investigation of the shooting by the city’s community relations board.
Keith Ferzell of the local Fraternal Order of Police urged anyone with information about the incident to contact police investigators.
“We want a thorough, complete investigation,” Ferrell said. “The officers do, the union does and I’m sure the city does with this.”
The summer initiative aims to take illegal guns off the streets and build trust in neighborhoods.
Mayor Andrew Ginther said the intent of Thursday’s meeting was to make sure everyone understands that community policing is, “a major, major part of the community safety initiative.”
“What the community safety initiative is all about, how we can better share information with the public about what we’re doing and the results we’re getting,” Ginther said. “It’s off to a great start.”
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