Prosecutor’s invitation rescinded from community forum; NAACP backs out too

COLUMBUS (WCMH) — Franklin County Prosecutor Ron O’Brien has been asked not to attend a Thursday night community town hall geared towards the African American community.

The NAACP also pulled out of the event citing security concerns.

Organizers and the NAACP are concerned about the possibility of protests aimed at O’Brien. The Columbus African American Community Townhall & Community Forum will go on as planned without O’Brien.

The organizer of the event, Ron Bryant, said he was made aware of the potential for disruptions coming off of other protests earlier in the week at places like City Hall. Bryant said protesters are mad at O’Brien about his handling of recent cases, including Henry Green and Tyre King. He said the forum is a chance for the African American community to get a better understanding of where various candidates stand on the issues. He said the forum was not the time or place for a protest.

“This is a church; this is not City Council,” Bryant said. “We can’t have them storming the pulpit, you know, running over the altar. We can’t have that. This is a church.”

The event is from 6pm to 9pm Thursday at Rehoboth Temple Church, on East Long Street. More than a dozen candidates were invited to attend.

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