“This kind of treatment sends the message ‘You do not belong.’ As an elected official, that troubles me,” Sykes wrote in a three page complaint sent this week to Ohio Department of Public Safety Director John Born. Sykes said she plans to meet with Born next week.
“We remain committed to providing safety with fair and equal treatment for everyone who enters the Capitol Square complex,” said Lt. Robert Sellers, spokesman for the Ohio Highway Patrol.
The Statehouse is secured by the patrol; Riffe office tower is secured by the patrol and officers hired by the Department of Administrative Services; and the Sergeant-at-Arms staff provides security for the House and Senate chambers and legislative leaders.
Related: Ohio taxpayers footing the bill for security for state officials
Since 2015, the Statehouse added metal detectors and other security upgrades. Metal detectors were added to the Riffe this year.
Sykes said people need to re-think what the face of leadership looks like.
Sykes tweeted on Thursday: “I am one of 276 Black women elected to a state legislature. 19 Black women serve in the United States Congress. Countless Black women serve as public servants at the local level. We demand to be respected in every policy house, at every table, in every seat! #WeBelongHere”