Columbus City Attorney Convening Special Counsel to Review Police Conduct


COLUMBUS, Ohio (WTVN)--Columbus City Attorney Zach Klein says he will appoint a special counsel to review the policies and procedures of the Columbus Police Department, specifically when it comes to how officers handle non-violent protesters.

The issue came to light over the weekend, with pictures and videos on social media of CPD officers using pepper spray on people who were not causing vandalism, amid the protests downtown over the death of George Floyd in Minneapolis.

Columbus City Council President Shannon Hardin, US Congresswoman Joyce Beatty, and Franklin County Commissioner Kevin Boyce were among the demonstrators subject to pepper spray on Saturday.

Klein says it includes changing the department's policies and procedures when it comes to using chemical agents, to comport with best practices as identified by Matrix Consulting, thereby ending broad use of chemical agents against nonviolent protesters and requiring verbal warnings.

Also part of the multi-point plan is additional training for officers, outside of the current curriculum, for an immersion experience that helps build a relationship between the officers and the communities they serve prior to graduation.