Gov. Mike DeWine called the death of George Floyd, an unarmed black man who died while handcuffed in police custody in Minneapolis, “horrific” during a press conference Friday.
>> RELATED: George Floyd protests erupt in Columbus: What we know nowHe said he regretted not speaking up about Floyd's death during his coronavirus briefing on Thursday afternoon.
Protests rocked Columbus and throughout America Thursday as people continued to speak out about the death of Floyd.
DeWine said that the vast majority of police officers do a good job, but that leaders need to make sure all that all officers have access to adequate training and make sure that those who are racist or have other biases not be police officers.
“We have a responsibility to each other,” he said. “We have a responsibility, regardless to race, to stand up and say we will not tolerate this conduct.”
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DeWine called Floyd’s death the culmination of many events and said his death represents many others before him.
“I want to make sure that as governor of Ohio I say to every African American man, woman and child, you are valued and an essential part of this community,” he said.
He said protests Thursday were appropriate and Ohioans to speak out to end injustice and to change.
The governor asked Ohioans who gather to protest in the coming days to do so peacefully.
“We must not fight violence with more violence,” DeWine said.
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He said that the lack of serious injuries reported Thursday at Statehouse protests were a testament of Columbus police. DeWine added leaders did not discuss calling in the Ohio National Guard at any point overnight.
As a leader, DeWine said he is obligated to be a source of peace and unity and to acknowledge disparities in communities.
Though Floyd’s death did not happen in Ohio, that doesn’t mean that it doesn’t impact Ohioans, DeWine said.