Supporters of Columbus police chief plan to gather Tuesday outside city council meeting

Published: Mar. 27, 2023 at 6:57 PM EDT
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COLUMBUS, Ga. (WTVM) - A rally in support of Columbus police chief Freddie Blackmon is planned for Tuesday afternoon outside the Columbus City Council chambers. The permit was filed by Marvin Broadwater, Sr. and his fraternity Omega Psi Phi.

Last week, Chief Blackmon told WTVM News Leader 9 he had been offered a severance package, but had not determined if he would accept the terms. Tuesday, March 28 will mark the first regularly scheduled Columbus city council meeting since Chief Blackmon presented his strategic plan to the council. Broadwater’s rally is scheduled to begin just a few hours before the council meeting begins at 5PM.

“We’ve seen a large gathering of people at the city council meeting, and I thought we all needed to be on the same sheet of music when we walked into the room,” said Broadwater.

Broadwater states the gathering he is assembling is not over the Jensen Hughes assessment, but over the lack of proper procedure.

“My problem with this entire ordeal is the process. When I talked to the council two weeks ago it is a process,” said Broadwater. We spoke to another private citizen by phone who agrees that the chief should be given due to process if he is terminated or presented a severance package.

“The real problem is the executive session, that went on March 14th. Mayor Skip Henderson said there was no vote taken. However, on the 15th the very next day, he [Blackmon] was offered a package of $250,000 the very next day,” said Paul Olson. Broadwater believes there should be procedure for dealing with personnel issues of all city employees, and he wants people to gather peacefully.

“It’s larger than the Chief at this point, but the procedure that they used was if we are going to get you out,” said Broadwater.

The demonstration is scheduled for Tuesday night starting at 4:30PM.