Families in Columbus cop shootings seek outside review

Associated Press

Columbus, Ohio — Two families whose relatives were fatally shot by Columbus police are renewing their requests for independent investigations.

The families of 13-year-old Tyre King and 23-year-old Henry Green plan to hold a news conference Tuesday to address what they see as discrepancies between what authorities and witnesses have said about what happened, the families’ attorneys said.

Tyre was shot Sept. 14 after police say he ran from an officer investigating a reported armed robbery and pulled a BB gun that looked like a real firearm.

Green was shot June 6 after two plainclothes officers said he ignored commands to drop his gun and fired on them.

Sean Walton, an attorney who represents both families, said witnesses have contradicted information from police in the cases. He said he planned to send letters to city officials Tuesday urging them to join Tyre’s family in requesting a Justice Department review of the shooting. Letters were sent earlier on behalf of Green’s family, he said.

Both shootings are under investigation and will be presented to a grand jury to decide whether charges are merited against the officers.

Tyre’s death has heightened tensions over the safety of blacks in Ohio’s largest city and added to a list of killings of black males by police that are attracting national attention.

On Monday, dozens of demonstrators protesting the fatal police shootings brought a city council meeting to a halt.

With chants that included “Black lives matter,” the protesters shouted down the council president and briefly took over the front portion of the council chamber at City Hall. They said they don’t trust the police to investigate themselves and urged that more money be spent on violence prevention and other programs.