COLUMBUS, Ohio - Columbus Mayor Andrew Ginther is asking protesters to send their evidence of police using excessive force for civilian review.
In a post on Facebook, Ginther said to submit photos, videos or accounts to reportCPD@columbus.gov.
He said information will be reviewed by a civilian from the Department of Public Safety's Equal Employment Opportunity Compliance Office.
The mayor's post comes after four days of protests in the city which includes some confrontations between police and protesters.
“We clearly didn't have a good game plan and I think we were overly aggressive, the police were with how they engaged folks on Saturday,” Ginther explained.
Protesters threw water bottles, bricks and firecrackers at Columbus police. Several officers were injured.
Officers were seen using pepper spray and other chemical agents and using knee knockers towards protesters.
“I talked to the chief and let him know that engagement, those strategies and tactics were unacceptable and didn't meet our community standards,” Ginther said.
In a now-deleted tweet, Ginther wrote, "It has been a tough few days Columbus, I hear you. I feel your pain. Some of what we saw yesterday from Columbus police was aggressive. We are proactively addressing the concerns."
Ginther explains the tweet was deleted and replaced with one asking for people to send information to the city.
“We've said from the very beginning that our police officers and their safety has been a top priority. We need to make sure we are protecting our police officers and that we are giving them the resources they need,” Ginther said.
The Fraternal Order of Police Lodge 9 gave a statement saying in part
"While the city leaders have issued statements condemning the police response and any enforcement actions they have taken, their statements failed to equally condemn the violence, property destruction and other criminal acts committed by those rioting, nor did they address the numerous officers injured when rocks, bricks and firecrackers were thrown at them."
“What we were asking the public to do is to show patience and restraint I did not see that modeled by our law enforcement officers in the way we engaged on Saturday,” Ginther said.
Ginther explains the complaints will be reviewed by the public safety office, faith leaders and the chief before decisions are made.
Full statement from Fraternal Order of Police Lodge 9:
Columbus Police Officers, as well as Officers from the surrounding jurisdictions, have done a tremendous job during a very tense time over the last several days. While the City leaders have issued statements condemning the police response and any enforcement actions they have taken, their statements failed to equally condemn the violence, property destruction and other criminal acts committed by those rioting, nor did they address the numerous officers injured when rocks, bricks, and firecrackers were thrown at them. Instead, the City leaders focused their statements exclusively on the peaceful protestors they observed, the peaceful protesters are not the problem. It is possible to support peaceful protest and speak out against injustices without resorting to criminal acts and property destruction. Peaceful protestors and rioters are not the same and should not be conflated as such. What happened to George Floyd is horrific and our officers were disgusted by that video. What is happening to our great City is sickening and it is destroying our already suffering businesses and the employees who depend on those businesses for their livelihood. While City Attorney Klein is reviewing the arrest from the last several days, I would also hope that he is reviewing video footage to prosecute those responsible for destroying our businesses and City. It is time to unite and stop the suffering. Everyone needs to do better; our great City deserves better."