After Action Review of the 2020 Protest Events in Columbus, Ohio

We Need Your Help

The death of George Floyd in Minneapolis, Minnesota on May 25, 2020 reignited protests across the United States about institutional racism and law enforcement. Columbus, Ohio was one of the major U.S. cities where protests occurred, resulting in numerous interactions -- many conflictual -- between citizens and law enforcement personnel.

Due to the nature and extent of these conflicts, the City of Columbus, via the Department of Public Safety, has asked the John Glenn College of Public Affairs at The Ohio State University to research and evaluate the City’s response to the protests. The research will be a case study focused on the time period with the heaviest protest activity: May 28 to July 19, 2020. The goal is to improve the City’s response to any future protests, particularly in terms of the crucial balance between public safety and freedom of expression.

We do not want or intend for this study to become just another report that goes on a shelf. This is an opportunity to leverage extensive professional, research, and community resources to develop policy recommendations that will benefit Columbus, as well as other cities facing similar strife and upheaval.

This project will not succeed without vibrant public input. Accordingly, we invite any community member who participated in or observed the protests between May 28 and July 19, 2020 to be interviewed by our research team, either via zoom or in person. We will make efforts to keep your contact information confidential and any information you provide will be de-identified so that it cannot be connected back to you. We anticipate that the interviews will not last longer than 60 minutes.

Project Overview

The research objectives of the study are to: a) document interactions, as well as their context and content, between citizens and law enforcement personnel as a part of the protests; b) evaluate the City’s preparation for and response to the protests; and c) make research-informed recommendations to the City in preparation for future protests. Data for the research study will include: interviews with protest participants, observers, and law enforcement personnel; public information, including media reports; documents, administrative data, and video footage from the Columbus Police Department. The study will generate a publicly available report for the City of Columbus, the funder of the research.

How to Participate

This consent form is a required part of any research project involving human subjects and explains that participation is voluntary and outlines the efforts we will make to keep your information confidential. It also answers questions about procedure, risks/benefits, and duration. In order to be interviewed, you need to provide your consent via this form. Once the interview is completed, your contact information will be separated from the content of the interview in order to protect confidentiality.

These are stressful times, which makes an opportunity to learn and do better all the more important. With your help, Columbus can be a national model for addressing tough issues head on, collectively and collaboratively. If you have information to provide, please review the consent and complete the registration form so we can hear your story.

Thank you for your consideration and interest in public service.

Questions? E-mail Beth Frey at

Media Inquiries? E-mail Lisa Frericks at