In June 2020, Black Queer & Intersectional Collective released #12ToAbolish12, our platform for abolishing the Columbus Division of Police and making our city a more liberated place, especially for Black LGBTQ+ people. These twelve demands were largely informed by the Systemic Demands we created in 2018 to guide our radical vision overall.

BQIC’s 12 to Abolish 12

  1. The resignation of Mayor Ginther 
    • Mayor Ginther has called for and condoned extreme police brutality against protestors organizing for Black lives  permitting chemical warfare of which many agents were expired, wooden/rubber bullets, LRAD machines, sound cannons and much more. This is designed to harm us as much as possible and prevent us from exercising our first amendment rights. Ginther has blood on his hands and has allowed CPD to kill over 40 people since he took office in 2015, and is remorseless about this fact.We demand the immediate resignation of Mayor Andrew Ginther. (numbers from 2013-2019)
  1. The resignation of CPD Chief Quinlan
    • Columbus Police committed inhumane crowd control tactics (tear gas, mace, wooden bullets) to be used repeatedly during an international pandemic on protestors under Quinlan’s charge, which has already resulted in death and deadly illness. The recent violence against protestors is just an extension of the daily harm that comes to marginalized communities on a daily basis. We demand the immediate resignation of Columbus Police Chief Thomas Quinlan.
  1. #FreeThemAll — from jails, prisons, youth detention centers, immigration detention centers, etc., shut down the facilities, and adhere to a moratorium on new facilities
    • We demand all incarcerated people be freed as well as an end to the building of new cages (including but not limited to, prison, jails, detention centers, new police departments, ICE offices, crime centers, and training facilities). The city must permanently freeze the purchasing and construction of jails, prisons, detention centers. Prison, jails, and detention centers house our most vulnerable populations in cramped quarters with multiple people. This is a dangerous and deadly environment at any time, especially during a pandemic. Incarcerated people are unable to practice health measures such as social distancing and sanitary practices, especially when they are forced to pay for their own soap and sanitizer. 
  1. Free Assembly for political expression in Columbus.
    • We have the right to protest, we have the right to take the streets without permits, we have the right to be outside anytime of day to express ourselves. We have a right to not be deemed violent any time it suits CPD’s motives. We must demilitarize our police force as they have used militarized weaponry to intimidate and hurt people for exercising their right to free assembly.
  1. Free Press
    • Members of the press have been brutalized by Columbus Police while providing media coverage at recent demonstrations. Without the free press, there is no transparency or documented truths, and we reserve the right to document our stories. We demand a free press that is allowed to do their work without being obstructed or targeted by law enforcement.
  1. Cops out of public institutions and social services (ex. hospitals, schools, recreation centers, etc.)
    • We demand Columbus Police be removed from all public institutions such as hospitals, schools, recreation centers, etc. CPD didn’t start entering public institutions, particularly schools until the 1990s. Before then, we provided safety and care for our students through therapists, nurses, coaches, and teachers. CPD has arrested and harmed thousands of kids since entering the 1990s but has not stopped one police shooting or attempt. We also demand they not be reinstituted under a new name.
  1. Defund CPD
    • Because almost 40% of the city budget goes to CPD (and the majority is their salaries) and this money could be far better spent invested in the communities CPD has long torn asunder, we demand a budget cut of 50% occur per year until police are defunded completely. We can start by: 
      1. renegotiating the police union contract so as to limit police power while increasing transparency to the public.
      2. Implementing a hiring freeze 
      3. Immediately fire all police officers who have had one or more excessive force complaints
      4. Ban the use of paid leave for excessive force investigations
      5. Restitution Fund for Columbus residents harmed by police, or the families of those killed by CPD 
      6. End the purchase (and use) of chemical agents, wooden bullets, and rubber bullets
      7. End the purchase of military grade weapons, regardless of the funding source
  1. End Felony Murder rule
    • Black people have long been exploited by this unjust, illogical law that permits police to circumvent accountability by charging people for murders they did not perpetrate. This rule is invoked to imprison people for crimes they did not commit, and it must be abolished. The local community has lost our black children to this law countless times and we demand it end. We demand the abolishment of the felony murder rule.
  1.  End Qualified Immunity 
    • Law enforcement cannot be allowed to exist outside the scope of reproach. Qualified immunity allows government officials to violate our civil rights without fear of paying monetary damages in a law suit, so long as they haven’t broken any “clearly established” law. Violating anyone’s civil rights, regardless of your job title, is against the law and there should be no excuses for it. Ignorance of the law or poor snap moment judgement is a death sentence for Black people. There should be nothing shielding those in power who violate another person’s civil rights from the suffering full ramifications of their actions.
  2. Change the name of Columbus and remove all racist monuments
    • Christopher Columbus led the brutalizing, rape, and murder of indigenous people whose land we are on. To have statues, monuments, street names/markers, flag symbols and more commemorating a genocide and land theft is violent in itself. We demand both the city’s name and the “holiday” of Columbus Day be renamed so as not to uplift a genocidal rapist.
  3. Abolish ICE
    • We demand Columbus become a sanctuary city for our immigrant and refugee community members.  Borders and walls are unacceptable, especially so on stolen land. We do not believe in criminalizing a person based on citizenship status, ICE has no place in our city other than to terrorize and break up families. We demand the city begin the process of shutting down all ICE offices. 
  4. Immediate distribution of restitution payments
    • Because Black people have always been the most harassed through state-sanctioned violence and so often subjected to brutal, devastating consequences from the PIC, STPP, and inherently and overtly racist policing, and because generations of Black families have been forced to bear the consequences of the murderous police state, and because this city, like this entire country, was built through our stolen labor, we demand financial restitution now to all Black people in Columbus. The money newly available through defunding the Columbus Division of Police must be distributed to the Black community, after which payments are to continue through other avenues of funding as well.