On Tuesday, TV One broadcast NewsOne Now’s first ever town hall meeting titled State of Emergency: Baltimore and Beyond.
During the two-hour presentation, Roland Martin asked the panel of national social and political voices, as well as local activists and newsmakers about the perceived role of law enforcement in communities of color.
Martin explained that neighborhood policing is about the police actually “getting to know the people who live in the community,” but when looking at Baltimore you will find that the city has a police force large enough to benefit a city that has a top ten population.
He added there are “more officers in this city than other cities that are much larger than Baltimore.”
Farajii Muhammad, Program Director of Baltimore Peace By Piece, said:
“One of the big things about this whole idea of protecting and serving is — you gotta ask the question —protecting who and serving which interests?”
“I think that in this city the culture that we see, especially in our community, is stemming not just from the officers and how they think, but it really stems from all the way to the top.”
Muhammad accused the Fraternal Order of Police (FOP) of “challenging State’s Attorney Marilyn Mosby, saying there is a rush to judgement.” He continued, “They have been challenging the police commissioner, Anthony Batts, talking about that’s not what happened.”
“A man went into the back of a van alive and came out dead. I don’t know where’s the rush to judgment, especially when he didn’t have a weapon and he was surrounded by police officers.”
The Program Director of Baltimore Peace By Peace later on said, “If the Fraternal Order of Police and those who are in the law enforcement lobby — if they are all focused on loyalty to their officers instead of truth — that’s a problem from the ground up.”
Watch the video clip above to see what else Farajii Muhammad had to say about the perceived role of law enforcement in our communities and who they are actually serving.
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