COLUMBUS — Ohio Governor Mike DeWine began Friday’s news conference by addressing a situation regarding a member of the Ohio National Guard that was removed from the mission in Washington D.C.
DeWine stated that after the FBI uncovered information that the guardsman expressed white supremacist ideologies on the internet before the assignment.
“We were asked specifically by the secretary of defense, as I know other states were, to send guardsmen to Washington D.C. We sent 100 to Washington,” said DeWine. “While I fully support everyone is right to free speech, guardsmen and women are sworn to protect all of us. Regardless of race, ethnic background, or religion. Our Ohio National Guard members earn a position of power and authority during times of crisis and anyone who displays malicious toward specific groups of Americans has no place in the Ohio National Guard.”
DeWine said the Ohio National Guard and the Ohio Department of Public Safety are fully cooperating with the FBI in its investigation.
“This individual is suspended from all missions effective immediately,” said DeWine.
DeWine stated due process will take place, whatever that is.
“This is an investigation being done not by authorities in Ohio, but by the Federal Bureau of Investigation,” said DeWine.
DeWine stated it is highly likely that once facts are confirmed the guardsmen will be permanently removed from the Ohio National Guard.
Because of the incident, DeWine stated he has instructed General Harris to work with the Public Safety Director to set up a procedure so that occurrences like that do not and cannot occur in the future.
“The public must have faith in our Ohio National Guard. They do amazing work,” said DeWine. “But we must constantly be vigilant, and we will be. We will set up a procedure to make sure this doesn’t happen again.”
In further regards to action being taken in the state, DeWine stated Ohio Department of Health would be taking a closer look at efforts to promote minority health and that conversations would continue on police reform. “I’m committed to making tangible changes in police oversight, accreditation, training, and accountability. Our goal is to improve the professionalism and remove community problems with police conduct.”
In regard to public health, DeWine stated efforts to expand COVID-19 testing are underway.
The Ohio Department of Health Thursday showed 37,758 total cases of COVID-19. The data showed 6,385 hospitalizations and 1,632 ICU admissions from the Coronavirus with 2,355 deaths.
Reach: Ivy Potter (740) 353-3101 Extension 1932
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