COLUMBUS, Ohio (WTVN)--Columbus Mayor Andrew Ginther is asking the US Department of Justice to open an investigation into the Columbus Division of Police.
The move follows a meeting Monday with the city's new civilian review board, and Ginther wants the department to be investigated for possible racial disparities, including areas of use of force, discipline for officers, and hiring practices.
Ginther hopes the probe will help foster an environment of trust between the department and the community it serves.
A statement from the local FOP Executive Vice-President Jeff Simpson says, "Officers are relentlessly condemned and demonized, even when the officer's actions are consistent with training and law."
He adds, "Politicians constantly vilifying officers breeds contempt for authority, emboldens the criminal element and has led to a mass exodus of law enforcement officers from the profession. Columbus is directly seeing the impact of this rhetoric, as the city is on pace to break the homicide record in 2021."
Congresswoman Joyce Beatty also released a statement Wednesday, supporting the call to investigate the department.