While in one area of the Ohio Statehouse lawmakers took aim at limiting Gov. Mike DeWine’s authority, in another area others began attacking specific orders issued during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Aside from bills that would require General Assembly approval for statewide stay-at-home orders, Ohio state senators held hearings on a bill that would end DeWine’s orders to stop alcohol sales at restaurants and bars at 10 p.m. and on another that placed limitations on county fairs.
Gov. Mike DeWine released a statement on Friday showing his displeasure with the recent vandalism at the Ohio Capitol.
“I have spoken with Ohio State Highway Patrol Col. Richard Fambro about security at the Statehouse, and I shared with him my anger and disgust at the vandalism that occurred at the Ohio Statehouse yesterday. I support the right to peacefully protest. However, defacing, damaging, and vandalizing our state capitol and its grounds are wrong, and such actions are criminal,” DeWine said.
Authorities are conducting a criminal investigation after the outside of the Ohio Statehouse was defaced with red hand prints and the phrase “hands up, don’t shoot” in protest of police brutality.
State troopers began to wash off some of the red paint on the western side of the statehouse on Thursday afternoon as a group of people protesting police brutality watched. It’s the latest example of damage to the downtown Columbus icon since protests over the police killing of George Floyd began three weeks ago.
Ohio Representative Joyce Beatty (D-OH-03) and at least two other Ohio elected officials were pepper-sprayed in downtown Columbus during George Floyd protests on Saturday afternoon.
Beatty, Franklin County Commissioner Kevin Boyce, and Columbus City Council President Shannon Hardin were sprayed after a protester got into a scuffle with law enforcement, Fox News reported.