City responds to protests

Legislation introduced recognizing local protests/events

By Jennifer Woods - [email protected]

The City of Washington C.H. introduced legislation this week recognizing local and national protesting taking place following the death of George Floyd.

The legislation was a resolution which was brought before Washington C.H. City Council. It references “local events” that occurred on June 2 as the focus of the resolution.

On June 2, as previously reported, a peaceful protest was held at the Fayette County Courthouse. It was one of many to be held throughout the country after Floyd died on May 25 following an extended time-frame with a Minneapolis police offer’s knee on his neck.

The following information comes from that resolution:

On May 25, in Minneapolis, the death of George Floyd resulted in protests and civil discord. The nation has experienced peaceful protests and incidents of violence, vandalism and riot.

On June 2, in Washington C.H., a protest and an earlier prayer vigil expressed messages of peace and frustration, but most importantly a desire for an American society that embraces our aspirations.

The city council is thankful for the peaceful nature of the local protest and prayer vigil and all people that showed a genuine concern for the safety of our community. City council recognizes the right of citizens to protest and the responsibility of all persons to value and protect life and property.

City council desires to encourage respect for all persons regardless of race and desires to remind all persons of the burden placed on law enforcement officers and express support for the Washington Police Department (WPD).

It was resolved that the city council:

-conveys thanks to all persons that have participated in prayer vigils and protests, concerning the death of George Floyd that have been peaceful exercises seeking hope and healing.

-expresses pride in the WPD. They are people upon whom we place a burden. In times when we find it hard to see goodness in others, their burden is increased.

-reminds everyone that all people, regardless of faith or lack of faith or race, have within them a spark of divinity, a creative force of dignity.

-asks all to again walk with our friends with whom we may disagree in peace. In torment may we find hope that justifies suffering.

-resolves that this resolution shall take effect at the earliest date permitted by law.

According to City Manager Joe Denen, the five council members who were present during Wednesday’s meeting were in support of the resolution. Council members Caleb Johnson and Kendra Redd-Hernandez were not present during the meeting.

As five were in support, the resolution was placed on first reading. The first time a resolution is seen and approved by council it is placed on a first reading and the second time on a second reading. Adoption of resolutions can occur once they have been placed on the second reading.

Denen noted that council member Ted Hawk made a comment during the meeting that he appreciated all the work that goes into this kind of resolution and getting everybody to agree on it, and how he appreciates the WPD.

Denen also explained, “It’s a surprisingly difficult type of legislation to put together, because you want to be mindful that it’s a very emotional issue for a lot of people. We involved Mr. Johnson in putting it together, so it would be very accurate to describe that as a joint project between a council member and the city manager about how we convey to people a positive message that says we appreciate very much that this is a peaceful issue that you can talk about in a constructive way.”

Washington Court House City Council meetings are held on the second and fourth Wednesdays of every month. They are located in the second floor council chambers of the City Administration Building, 105 N. Main Street. Currently, attendance is being limited due to the pandemic. Meetings will be streamed live on the YouTube channel “City of Washington Court House, Ohio” at According to officials, due to technological difficulties, audio for the last two council meetings is not working on the videos, but it is being worked on. file photo
Legislation introduced recognizing local protests/events

By Jennifer Woods

[email protected]