We are a collection of African American community leaders and involved citizens and our allies who are calling for the federal protection from a rogue division of police that has a pattern and practice of violating our community’s rights under the Constitution of the United States of America and the country’s various federally-ensured civil rights. We seek federal protection because for the past decades city political leadership has failed in that task. We will support our call for federal oversight by providing collecting and the testimony of Columbus residents who have experienced such lawless policing since the DOJ last investigated Columbus in 1998.
To submit a Black community request for a U.S. Department of Justice investigation into constitutional and civil rights law violations against our people by the Columbus Division of Police. Read it Here
To gather public testimony and submit affidavits alleging a continuing pattern and practice of abusive policing by the Columbus Division of Police against the city’s Black citizens in violation of the U.S. Constitution (Fourth and Fourteenth Amendments) and federal civil rights.
To receive and process the testimony of advocates and allies who experienced police abuse during the George Floyd protests and last summer’s other protests of Columbus policing and submit those stories of police misconduct resulting in violations of citizens’ First Amendment right to petition the government for redress.
Next Steps – Sign Up to Testify
Tell Your Story!
The Project has begun receiving testimony from Columbus residents impacted by unconstitutional policing over the past 25+ years since the 1998 Department of Justice investigation. Residents can sign up to speak in 15 minute blocks, during the days and time blocks below (clicking will direct you to a calendar):
Sign Up To Testify – Click Below to Pick Time
To help ensure the safety of all from coronavirus, no more than 5 people will be allowed in the office at one time, and all must be masked except for the speaker. Each speaker will address a panel of 2 – 3 members of the C-PAP and testimony will be recorded. After subsequent legal review, the testimony may be transcribed and turned into affidavit form for sworn signature by the speaker.
To ensure relevance, speakers are asked to limit comments to relating circumstances where police have abused the law. We expect for testimony to be 5 – 10 minutes in length.
We are collecting testimony from people who have been impacted by police behavior such as:
- Unlawful stops where an officer has no probable cause to suspect a crime has been committed by the person stopped
- Unlawful searches and seizure of property
- Unlawful arrests
- Unlawful uses of force
- Unlawful suppression of free speech
- Racial profiling
- Racialized policing
- Other instances of discrimination
After being sworn to tell the truth, please be prepared to provide details such as names, dates (exact date when possible, or month and year when memory is unclear). Please note that testimony given may become public and will be the basis for documenting police abuses and will be of great public interest and used by investigators and news organizations. Sign up to speak and help protect the next generation of Columbus children.
We are using this YouTube channel to help ID Columbus officers who attacked civilians in last spring’s BLM protests. Due to the officers’ refusal to activate their body cams during the protests, we need to track down as many bystander videos as we can, as soon as we can. Subscribe to the Youtube channel (https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCuKF9FndDIfwvG3P6CBED5g/videos) and follow on Twitter: @ColumbusPDTips (https://twitter.com/ColumbusPDTips).
“For decades now, local Black and brown communities have been calling for real, actionable change within the CPD. Our collective efforts have culminated in a formal request that we are releasing to the Department of Justice tomorrow afternoon.”
— Attorney Sean Walton, April 28, 2021
Organizations in support (as of April 28, 2021): Alpha Phi Alpha, Amos Project, Black Abolitionist Collective of Ohio, Black Liberation Movement of Central Ohio, Black Student Association of The Ohio State University, Capital University Law School African-American Law Alumni Association, Central Ohio Freedom Fund, ChangeWorks of the Heartland, Cleveland Branch – NAACP, Columbus Branch — NAACP, Columbus Stand Up!, Everyday People for Positive Change, Exodus Nation, Interdenominational Ministerial Alliance of Columbus & Vicinity, Justice Unity and Social Transformation, Kaleidoscope Youth Center, Men of Unbuntu, Ohio Families Unite Against Police Brutality, Ohio Organizing Collaborative, Ohio Student Association, Ohio Young Black Democrats, Parkwood Investments, LTD, People’s Justice Project, Queer Partnership for Black Liberation, Restoring Our Own Through Transformation, The Downtownerz, The Unbossed Network, Unifying Solutions.
AS OF MAY 5TH, 343 PEOPLE/ORGANIZATIONS HAVE SIGNED ON IN SUPPORT