This must end. The time is now.
Create Columbus Accountability Statement
June 4, 2020
Police violence against black people is a scourge as old as America itself and is the tip of the spear of systemic racism. Risk peaks for black men and women to be killed by police between the ages of 20-35 years old. We know that for young men of color, “police use of force is among the leading causes of death.” (source) The city has also known this. The country has also known this. No effective change has happened, despite countless efforts by activists and organizations to do so.
In response to the murders of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, and countless other black men, women, and trans people killed by police, victimized by the justice system, and forgotten about by our country, the people of Columbus have risen up in protest to express their anger and disappointment in systems built not to protect, but to oppress.
We have seen unchecked police violence, failure to appropriately use body cameras, unwarranted physical attacks on the media, and a direct communication from our mayor that would silence the individual voices of those most affected. This must end.
The Columbus Police Department has acted in betrayal of their entrusted oath to serve and protect, ultimately in the destructive sacrifice of its social contract with our city. The Mayor has not held CPD accountable for their actions or inaction. This must end.
As an organization, the Create Columbus Commission was formed to advocate for the success of all young people. We are experiencing the collective trauma that is happening right now, a trauma that has been weighing down people for centuries. This must end.
We will no longer stand silently in the shallow tides of progress. We will charge forward with a ferocity for change as powerful as the depths of our grief and outrage.
Our actions today and moving forward will include building sustained momentum for systemic change – in communities, policy arenas, and institutions.
Create Columbus is an organization of young professionals including business builders, community organizers, innovation leaders, artists, and civic activists spanning a wide variety of industries and backgrounds all across this city. Our organization envisions a city where ALL young people can make a difference, live their best life, and achieve their greatest potential.
In this moment we:
- Sign on to the declaration of racism as a public health crisis.
- Call on the Mayor to take immediate action on all of Campaign Zero’s “8 can’t wait” policies to decrease police violence
- Call for the implementation of Columbus Community Safety Advisory Commission recommendations shared in January 2020.
- Demand city leaders submit a revised budget to the City Council that shifts funding for policing to areas that improve public safety, such as affordable housing, public health, and education.
We hold the Mayor and city leadership accountable to ensure positive change happens.
This is our moment to make systemic changes; the time for leadership and action is now.