DeWine calls protests "understandable and appropriate," asks for peaceful means

Workers repair smashed windows at a building south of downtown on Friday in Columbus, Ohio. The damage happened as protesters angry over the death of George Floyd in Minneapolis police custody turned out for a demonstration in Columbus that began peacefully but turned violent, with windows smashed at the Ohio Statehouse and storefronts along surrounding downtown streets. (AP Photo/Andrew Welsh-Huggins)

COLUMBUS, Ohio (WTVG) - Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine called protests expressing outrage over the death of George Floyd at the hands of Minneapolis Police officers earlier this week "understandable and appropriate" during a press conference on Friday, but he asked Ohioans planning to participate do so peacefully.

The governor spoke from the Ohio Statehouse, which had been vandalized the night before during a protest in downtown Columbus that also damaged several storefronts. The group responsible for maintaining the Ohio Statehouse grounds, the Capitol Square Review and Advisory Board, surveyed the damage following the protests.

The governor said during the press conference that while the damage had been surveyed, a monetary figure had not yet been assigned to that damage.

During his remarks, the governor commented on the events that occurred in Minneapolis leading up to Floyd's death, calling the officer's actions a violation of "every law of human decency and police training." Law enforcement training was a feature of those remarks, as DeWine also commented that, as a former prosecutor and Ohio Attorney General, he wonders whether police who participate in misconduct had appropriate training or enough training.

The governor remarked that during his time as Attorney General, he put an emphasis on training in deescalation techniques and in educating officers on implicit bias and the role in plays in their work. He said that we had accomplished a lot in Ohio, but that we still need to do more as a state.

Gov. DeWine called George Floyd's death in Minneapolis and the events following a culmination of many events, saying that pain, distress, anger, and fear are real and that "we have a responsibility to each other ... regardless of race, to stand up and speak out and say we won't tolerate conduct like this."