•. Councilmembers want review of charges against protesters
Following consultation with Columbus City Attorney Zach Klein, and an anticipated move to dismiss a lawsuit per an agreement reached between the City and the plaintiffs involved, Mayor Andrew J. Ginther will rescind the emergency order which established a 10 p.m. curfew.
“I am pleased that in recent days there has been better communication and greater collaboration between police and protestors, demonstrations have been peaceful, and there have not been any significant acts of violence, vandalism or use of force by police,” said Mayor Ginther.
“I applaud all those who are raising their voices in protest and encourage all to continue to do so peacefully.”
A lawsuit filed in federal court last night argued that continuation of the curfew violated the U.S. Constitution because the widespread acts of vandalism have dissipated.
Parties will move to dismiss the lawsuit per an agreement reached between the City and the plaintiffs involved.
The curfew in place since May 30 will be lifted immediately upon rescinding the declaration.
Columbus residents may move about freely and businesses may resume normal hours of operation.
“In recent days we became increasingly hopeful that the curfew could be lifted, and clearly the time is now right. I encourage people to continue to lift up their voices in peaceful protest, and we will remain laser focused on implementing meaningful and lasting change to fight racism and discrimination.”
Meanwhile, Columbus City Council President Shannon G. Hardin said “I am calling for those charged with violating curfew and ‘failure to disperse’ to have their charges dropped immediately. Folks don’t need to be penalized for peacefully assembling and making their voices heard. The City should be focused on implementing the recommendations of the Community Safety Advisory Commission.”
Also, President Pro Tem Elizabeth Brown said “First Amendment rights are paramount, and this past week has been a profound and historic display of those rights in Columbus.“
“I am calling for the charges against protesters that relate to violating curfew or failure to disperse during this week’s demonstrations to be dropped. We should not police free speech, and people certainly do not need to face penalty by their government for exercising theirs.”