COLUMBUS (WCMH) — More than one hundred people rallied along the front steps of City Hall demand answers and change after the shooting death of 13-year-old Tyre King by a Columbus police officer.
“We are here because the community is alarmed about the fact that a child can be holding a toy in his own community and be dead today,” said Tammy Fournier-Alsaada, with the People’s Justice Project.
Social reform groups and community activists are demanding that city officials and the Columbus Division of Police are held accountable for King’s death.
One protester questioned why police chief Kim Jacobs felt the need to show the public a replica of the BB gun King allegedly pulled on officers before he was shot.
“Kim Jacobs, she held it up,” Cerise Allen said, referring to the picture of the gun Jacobs showed at a press conference last week. “She held this gun up and yet we still haven’t seen the actual toy that he was holding. This is disheartening. And this was done to tarnish that family’s name, this was done to tarnish the boy’s name. But what they’re not going to do is address the fact the boy was running from the officer when he was shot.”
Officers say they will release the evidence in the case to the public once the investigation is complete.
Group leaders took their list of demands inside City Hall to be given to city officials. Those demands include police handing over the city Safe Street Initiative so that it’s run by Columbus communities and not officers. They also want half of the Columbus Division of Police’s budget to go towards community policing and for law enforcement investigations to be conducted by an independent prosecutor.