(COLUMBUS, Ohio)—Ohio Governor Mike DeWine today granted a request from Columbus Mayor Andrew Ginther and Columbus Police Chief Thomas Quinlan to activate the Ohio National Guard to assist in responding to incidents of violence during demonstrations within the City of Columbus. Governor DeWine also ordered the Ohio State Highway Patrol to help enforce the criminal laws within the city.
The following can be attributed to Governor DeWine:
"The majority of demonstrators want simply to be heard, and we welcome the voices of the individuals who are focusing attention on the tragic death of George Floyd and on other injustices. But, sadly, these voices calling for justice and change are being drowned out by a smaller group of violent individuals who threaten the safety of the citizens of our community. Acts of violence will not be accepted nor tolerated. This violence must stop.
"I am activating our National Guard to drive out hate and violence and to instill order. This is about the safety of our communities - our neighbors, our families, and our friends. It is about protecting from unnecessary destruction the small businesses that our fellow Ohioans have worked so hard to create. It is also about protecting the First Amendment and creating the environment for peaceful protests so that people can be heard, so that voices are not stifled, so that justice can prevail, and so that love, kindness, compassion, and peace can triumph over hate and violence.
"I understand that people are angry and have pent up rage. I understand that we are living in very uncertain times right now in this country. But it is in these times of uncertainty and division that we must call upon the 'better angels of our nature' and come together as one state and as one people to care for one another, to value one another, and to protect one another."
Mayor Ginther also implemented a city-wide curfew from 10:00 p.m. to 6:00 a.m. beginning tonight.
The full statements made today by Governor DeWine, Mayor Ginther, Chief Quinlan, and Adjutant General John C. Harris Jr. can be found on ohiochannel.org.