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.

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