Bob Fitrakis giving speech and words Bob Bites Back

Free Press honors community activists

It's Free Press community awards time -- where the newspaper has the privilege of rewarding real grassroots activists with plaques and praises. All are invited to join us on Monday night, November 4 at Ace of Cups, 2519 North High Street, for a night of free food, local music and celebration. Our longtime supporter Donna Mogavero will be heading things around 8pm. See page 15 for details.

Dancing, punching cop

So, Officer Johnson -- the dancing cop -- was exonerated by other cops, many who couldn't dance. Local media like TV4 is infatuated with Johnson. He and his fellow cops still need to explain why they showed up two hours late at the wrong house on a call about shots fired. And why, while holding a shotgun, did Officer Johnson punch Jonathan Robinson, the innocent father of kids who were present, and then falsely arrest him. Fellow police officers not only know of Johnson's propensity for dancing, but also for a level four use of violence by punching citizens (he's done it before).

Let the people judge

The Columbus Community Safety Advisory Commission, appointed by the City, has demonstrated its independence by recommending the establishment of a Civilian Review Board to oversee the Columbus Police's use of force and policing policies. The Fraternal Order of Police (FOP) actually agreed to a Civilian Review Board integrated into the City's Community Relations Commission during Mayor Michael Coleman's last term. The NAACP and the FOP reached the agreement, but Coleman refused to institutionalize it through a city ordinance or in the city charter. Coleman was the only black mayor in Columbus' history.

Maybe Jonathan Robinson would not have been punched by Officer Johnson and a lot more black people would be alive if a Civilian Review Board, rather the Columbus Police Department's Internal Review Board reviewed the officers' excessive use of force. Police have to stop "policing" the police.