COLUMBUS (WKBN) – During his briefing Tuesday afternoon, Gov. Mike DeWine talked less about the coronavirus response and more about protests, policing and racism in Ohio.
Across the state, cities are heading into their sixth day of protests following the death of George Floyd in Minnesota.
“This is really a moment in history and it’s our time to act,” DeWine said.
He said it’s understandable that people are upset. The vast majority of demonstrators have been peaceful.
“It is dangerous when we let words become weapons, so I think the most important thing we can do is let our actions speak louder than words. Words are important. Words of the protesters, very significant, need to be heard. Those of us in government, those of us who have the ability to change things directly, we have to take this opportunity to do that. This is our moment to do the hard work.”
DeWine laid out the changes he thinks police departments need to make including oversight, accountability, training for officers, transparency and recruiting more minorities.
“The vast, vast majority of our law enforcement men and women do a phenomenal job,” he said.
DeWine said we should all be outraged that in 2020, there is still inequality and racism in Ohio.
Ohio Department of Health director Dr. Amy Acton spoke passionately about the topic, becoming visibly upset at times, urging people to think about the children across the state and nation.
“I think the thing that will always live with me is the fact that George called out to his mother,” she said. “Everything I’ve seen around this world and every time of pain, in those moments, we are one person. It is so basic.”