The List: Eight people almost named to the civilian review board

Some critics have said the newly founded panel doesn’t reflect the community, but it could have been worse

Andy Downing
Columbus Alive
This is not who you think it is. He has a mustache.

Last week, the city announced the nine people who will make up the first civilian review board, which will be tasked with investigating allegations of police misconduct. (As to whether police will actually abide by the group’s recommendations, that’s likely still to be determined as Columbus negotiates a new contract with the Fraternal Order of Police Capital City Lodge No. 9.)

Almost immediately, the list came under fire in some circles, with people expressing concern that the panel was not truly representative of the community, and that it was peppered with insiders who might have a particular rooting interest going in. (One of the panelists, for example, is a retired Columbus police officer, while a second serves as a complaint liaison for Bexley police and is married to a retired police officer.)

In a public Facebook post, panel member Kyle Strickland, a lawyer at Ohio State University’s Kirwan Institute for the Study of Race and Ethnicity, labeled the advisory board a work-in-progress. “Over the coming months and years, more will need to be done to ensure that the board has power, independence, and more community representation,” Strickland wrote. “I’m committed to making that happen.”

Believe it or not, though, the board, which appears to these eyes to have been created in an attempt to earn the support of the police union (and still won’t), could have been more heavily stacked with insiders. Here are some of the players who just missed the cut.

Andrew Ginther but with a mustache

It’s not who you think it is. This person has a mustache.

A cartographer promising to deliver the city placement on the map

Finally someone who can do what has been attempted by everything from AmeriFlora ’92 to that potato salad Kickstarter.

The religious leader who said that “people have the right to protest, but not the right to be rude” as demonstrators were forcibly removed by police from the city’s 2020 MLK Day breakfast

It's amazing how close the panel came to including a member who said that people do have a right to protest. At least politely.

A media member who still describes police shootings by writing things like “the officer discharged their weapon, striking the suspect”

Why describe events clearly (“police shot the suspect”) when you can add layers of wording that do little more than obfuscate while simultaneously removing the agency of the officer who fired their weapon?

The publicly funded portion of the Crew’s new Downtown stadium

The city initially said it would fund $50 million of the construction, a figure Dispatch reporting later pegged at $100 million. The stadium, which is expected to open this summer, is finally ready to step up and return the favor.

Private citizen Kim Jacobs

No need to look any deeper at the resume of this private citizen, who clearly has no connection to the Columbus Division of Police. Pay no attention to where Jacobs might have worked prior to February 2019, which really feels like a lifetime ago following the 2020 pandemic, doesn’t it? Has it been one year or 20 years? Am I right? Anyway, let’s all move on. We’ve bothered this private citizen for far too long already.

A new mixed-use build in the midst of applying for a tax abatement

And we think it just might get it.

This tweet from the executive vice president of the FOP Capital City Lodge No. 9 begging Candace Owens to run for president