The article that appeared in The Lima News on April 11 was totally incorrect. I did not make statements about Lima Police Chief Kevin Martin as reported.
The protest was in response to no charges filed against Zachary Copeland for the shooting death of 16-year-old Mekhi Williams. Copeland stated someone robbed a gun and synthetic marijuana where he was staying. Copeland cocked a gun at a group of people who he believed was involved in the robbery, which means he took matters into his own hands, escalating the situation. Copeland didn’t know who committed the robbery of the gun and 2 pounds of illegal drugs, but Mekhi Williams is dead at his hand.
Copeland pulled a gun which is illegal. Furthermore, he had another gun in his pocket without a concealed carry permit. Copeland committed more than one crime without charges. I asked the chief directly, “Are you saying in this decision that each individual can act on their own without the involvement of local law enforcement?” He said, “Oh no, we’re not saying that.” I replied, “Well say it to the public.”
So, we leave a 16-year-old child laying in the streets dead, and the person responsible for his death wasn’t charge with anything for his illegal activity. This sends the wrong message.
This case demonstrates without question racial bias in the justice system. We want to prevent these kinds of things from happening in our community. We want to put proper systems in place so when they happen, they’re not ignored as being acceptable or OK. This is not just an issue with the police department, but an issue with the whole criminal justice system.
Rev. Ron Fails,