Columbus is not a sanctuary city, despite the claims of the big fat liar in charge, Andy Ginther. It has not gone so far as to literally unleash the hounds (or in this case German Sheppard attack dogs) on behalf of ICE like the Ohio State Patrol, but contrary to resolutions in support of individual immigrants seeking sanctuary and other public pronouncements, the Columbus Division of Police does assist ICE in roundups.
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The Hilltop could have gotten Free Wifi for every resident. Instead it got Surveillance. Linden is next
On Tuesday February 5th Mayor Ginther, backed by the Uncle Fester meets Lee Ermey like polished head and dark sunken eyes of Deputy Police Chief Bash, announced the roll out of the ShotSpotter voice surveillance system in the Hilltop, which is targeted pilot neighborhood for a program that is budgeted to cover the entire City.
Police have a term for murdered sex workers. The term is “Less than Dead.” This is the literal station house and locker room phrase and has also been used to describe the level of zeal when a crime is committed against sex workers. It was not suprising hearing those words echo from the bushes in Upper Arlington this morning. Viewing this latest case, and the context and the official reaction makes the echos loud.
When Andy Ginther unveiled his infrastructure capital improvement plan for 2018 last week he failed to mention how it would enable the police to hear and see everything you see and do on any street in the city. While the only direct surveillance cost listed in the promotional material is $1 million to be spent on a gunfire detection system the amount is much greater. An additional $5 million for police is hidden in the electricity budget for 2018 with an additional $1.7 million to be spent on yet more capital improvements by FY 2022.
The Metropolitan Club is where dignitaries dine, discuss and determine the next dysfunctional downtown errection. Despondent that he was underdone dissing the dogged defenders of black life in Columbus, Mayor Andrew “The bagman” Ginther raised his middle finger at the city and the truth higher than the Tax-Free edifice that is the Nationwide Arena, Office Complex and yuppie watering hole.
The emails of John Podesta, the Clinton family chief of staff, as released by Wikileaks are a treasure trove worthy of bathing in if an investigative reporter were suddenly transformed into Scrooge McDuck. Kevin Gosztola of Shadowproof pointed out one gem on twitter with a simple “Isn't this illegal?” Gosztola's instincts were in fact correct. What he found is very likely to be illegal.
On July 14 a forum on police community relations was held at the New Birth Christian Ministries on Refugee Road. The turnout, which included City Council Staffers and off duty police was less than half the size of recent local protests against police murder. There was a panel discussion which included a Westerville police department representative, City Council President Zach Klein, three representatives of the Columbus Police Department and Civil Rights Attorney Sean Walton.
“We do not come to this plaza to mourn where he fell, we come to you, we return to the living. There were others before him remember? Yes, you remember. But then the blood was hidden, it was so far. The South's rain washed it from the Earth, far far away. The People's death was as it has always been, as if no-one had died, nothing. As if they were stones falling to the Earth.
Henry Green was murdered by police in his own neighborhood on June 6. He was shot without warning by plainclothes police who were there as part of a summer program that is alternately called a “Community” policing program or a “Summer Safety” program. Only the Columbus Police Department is investigating his murder. As his family, along with community organizers from his neighborhood press the city leaders for some real initiative towards justice those leaders have further entrenched themselves and their programs.