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Columbus Mayor Vows Effort To Reduce Violence
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Columbus Mayor Michael Coleman promises more community intervention to stop police involved shootings. Six such shootings have occurred recently.
Mayor Coleman at a meeting with reporters warned against armed confrontations with police officers.
“This is not a video game, where you can pull out a gun and shoot it, finish the game and press re-start, and you go back into another situation and play the game again. This is not a game. This not a video game. You pull out a gun you will be shot.”
In the most recent police involved shooting last Friday afternoon, a suspect identified as Obbie Shepard was fatally shot after he fled from officers then allegedly shot at police. In all six police involved shootings recently a gun was either fired at police or a weapon was recovered from the suspect. Fraternal Order of Police president Jim Gilbert says officers also take note of the potential for violence.
“There is a heightened awareness obviously of our safety right now, becasue of these incidents.”
WCKX Radio Talk Show host, Walter Smith, says he’s angered by the spike in violence and the police involved shootings. He says too little is being done to keep weapons out of the hands of teens and young adults.
“We need to focus more on making sure that the babies don’t get the guns in the first place and of course the mayor didn’t highlight that.”
Mayor Coleman says the city’s police officers have been instructed and trained to meet deadly force with deadly force. He adds part of the problem is the number of illicit guns. So far this year, officers have cofiscated 1800 weapons.