COLUMBUS (WCMH)– Over 300 people turned up to Goodale Park on Friday for the “614 Unity March” to protest against police brutality.
The group marched from Goodale Park to the Ohio Statehouse and ended at the Franklin County Courthouse.
“We’re going to keep pushing the same message we want independent investigation and we want justice for Tyre King and Henry Green,” said Hana Abdur-Rahim of the People’s Justice Project (https://m.facebook.com/OhioPJP/).
The march was mostly peaceful. Toward the end, some people got maced. She said it happened as they were occupying the street in front of the courthouse.
“That’s why we’re out here fighting for justice and me getting maced is nothing like a little boy losing his life,” said Abdur-Rahim.
Columbus Police said mace was deployed when protesters started to swing their arms at the horses.
“A fourth officer came with just anger in his eyes, just running at us and then he just started macing and spraying everywhere all over my mouth and my nose,” said protester Alexander Clemetson.
He said horses started coming toward them, pushing them onto the sidewalk and officers were trying to grab someone from the crowd.
“They are justified in their sense, at least they think they are because they can hit us and nothing can happen,” said Clemetson.
Police said one person was arrested during the protest.
Before getting to the courthouse, the march came from Goodale Park and then made a stop at the Statehouse.
“We just want to highlight police brutality in the city and get people to pay attention to it,” said “614 Unity March” creator Dusty Estepp. “People need to get out and actually do something and not just type stuff on Facebook.”
Henry Green’s mother Adrienne Hood spoke before the crowd on the steps of the Statehouse.
“They shot my son down in our community. They are supposed to be protecting and serving and they don’t do that in our community,” said Hood. “That is a shame in 2016 we are still looking at the color of somebody’s skin as opposed to the character of the man.”
Salma Alsibai brought her family to the protest. She say she wants her children to witness it.
“When we see injustice we have to step out we need to stand with our community,” she said. “My family, I mean it’s for them. That’s who it’s for, ultimately. Change is not going to happen within the next couple of years, but by the time they grow up hopefully things will have changed and it will be because we came out here.”
We reached out to Columbus Police today about the march. They encourage protesters to come to community meetings held by the police to move forward and work together.