Town hall peaceful after concerns over protests

COLUMBUS (WCMH) – A town hall meeting geared toward the African-American community stayed peaceful Thursday, after initial concerns about protests caused the NAACP and the county prosecutor to stay away.

The event, held at Rehoboth Temple Church on the East Side, was a candidates’ forum, where people could listen to and ask questions of several candidates for county races.

On Wednesday night, the event organizer said he asked Ron O’Brien, the incumbent county prosecutor, not to attend. He said there were concerns that protesters could disrupt the forum like they did at City Hall on Monday, angry at O’Brien’s handling of recent police-involved shooting cases.

“What occurred on Monday night at City Hall, of course, looked pretty rough, and we didn’t want that particular situation here,” Ron Bryant, the event organizer, said. “This is a church. We’re not going to have people storming the pulpit, we’re not going to have people storming the altar, and we want them to have a certain modicum of decorum here.”

NBC4 called Prosecutor O’Brien’s office Thursday but did not hear back. provides commenting to allow for constructive discussion on the stories we cover. In order to comment here, you acknowledge you have read and agreed to our Terms of Service. Commenters who violate these terms, including use of vulgar language or racial slurs, will be banned. Please be respectful of the opinions of others and keep the conversation on topic and civil. If you see an inappropriate comment, please flag it for our moderators to review.

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