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Eyewitness to Sinzae Reed’s killing says the thirteen-year-old didn’t have a gun

Activists organize to pressure Franklin County Prosecutor Gary Tyack to indict Reed's killer

A mother and her daughter were walking home on October 12, 2022, from after-school activities along the fence line behind 802 Wedgewood Drive on Columbus’ west side when the daughter saw a man in a ski mask take something out of his pocket. She alerted her mother.

The mother made sure her daughter was safe under a parked car and looked up to see her 13-year-old neighbor, Sinzae Reed, fall to the pavement.

“He didn’t have a gun,” she said.

One of the bullets from the shooter’s gun flew so close to her head that she felt the heat of the bullet.

“God was with me that day, but Sinzae Reed—I seen him fall down,” she said.

Friends and family of Sinzae Reed gather at press conference 1-1-23 at Wedgewood Village. Photo Credit: Edie Driskill.

She had gathered with other neighbors and friends on New Year’s Day to support the mother and family of Reed at a press conference called by Ramon Black, the organizer of Justice, Unity, & Social Transformation (aka JUST 614.)

Black invited the press to join him at the Wedgewood Village Apartments to allow the press and the community supporters to experience the environment where Sinzae was killed.

“This is the lived reality of our youth. And this is what they are going through on a day-to-day. They aren’t expected to live past twenty-five by staying in communities like this one,” Black said in his opening statement to the crowd.

Black listed the demands his group is delivering to the city:

1. We want Kreig Butler in jail.

Butler, age 36, lives in the building where the shooting took place. Black explained that eyewitnesses identified him that day. DeJuan Sharp, a local activist, complimented the Columbus Division of Police for arresting Butler the following day. But then pointed the blame at Assistant Prosecuting Attorney Marla Farbacher for removing the charges when Butler claimed that he shot Reed in self-defense.

2. We want the removal of County Prosecutor Gary Tyack.

They are asking for more time for the grand jury to consider the case. They do not understand what could be taking so much time when eyewitness statements are so clear.

3. We want an apology from the City of Columbus to the family.

They feel the family has been waiting too long, and in that time has endured harassment from Butler. The additional pain the family is suffering is due to the city’s negligence.

4. We want a Department of Justice investigation.

Black explained that witnesses have reported that Butler was arguing with two white men prior to the shooting, yet Sinzae was the one who was “lynched.”

JUST614 will be putting pressure on Tyack and the city until Butler is arrested.

On Thursday, January 5 at noon they plan to meet at Gary Tyack’s office at 373 South High Street to deliver their demands.

On Saturday, January 7 at 1 p.m. they will be meeting at the Ohio Statehouse for a community march.

On Monday, January 9 they will be attending the Columbus City Council meeting.

For updated information, refer to JUST614’s Facebook page.

Driskill Digest
Driskill Digest
Edie Milligan Driskill