Jasmine Ayres

State troopers and police officers blocking the intersection of High and State streets. Police vehicles took over the center turning lane for nearly two blocks of High Street between Broad and Town Streets on Sunday, June 21, 2020.
Nick Evans / WOSU

Last summer, as protesters demanding racial justice flooded Columbus streets, a meme began passing around social media, depicting the city budget as a bar graph with police spending dwarfing every other expenditure. 

Columbus City Hall
David Holm / WOSU

Columbus City Council passed a handful of amendments to the 2021 city budget on Thursday, including one that suspends police hiring until a recruiting audit concludes later this year. 

Columbus Police officers maintain crowds around the Ohio Statehouse on May 30, 2020.
Adora Namigadde / WOSU

Columbus Division of Police may be facing a $20 million budget reduction next year.

Who Speaks For Protesters?

Jul 8, 2020
Protesters march in downtown Columbus on June 2, 2020.
Paige Pfleger / WOSU

This episode originally aired on June 25, 2020.

Protests against police violence and racial injustice have continued in Columbus and around the country since late May.

Some demonstrators are calling for the police to be reformed, while others want the departments defunded or even abolished. But who writes the new rules? Who are the demonstrators and who speaks for them?

St. Louis, St. Paul, Richmond, Boston — cities across the country have dismantled, torn down or removed their statues honoring the explorer Christopher Columbus. One of the more recent and more surprising additions to that list is his namesake: Columbus, Ohio. The city once had three Christopher Columbus statues.

Construction crews recently dismantled a marble statue on the campus of Columbus State Community College, loading it piece by piece onto a flatbed truck to be put into storage.

A small Columbus statue still stands on the lawn of the statehouse.

Columbus City Council / Twitter

Against the wishes of dozens of activists gathered outside Columbus City Hall, City Council members appointed a realtor to fill the latest vacancy on the governing body.

Yes We Can Columbus

Columbus City Council is expected to name a new member to fill its vacancy on Monday, and though Democratic group Yes We Can Columbus has one candidate as a finalist, they're protesting the proceedings.