by Bill Batson
On November 18th, I helped launch the Rockland People’s Panel on Policing as a steering committee member along with Nelcy Garcia MSW, Nikki Hines, Hon. Michael Lockett, Rev. Everett Newton, Sherry McGill, and Fr. Owen C. Thompson. Our first public hearing will be tomorrow, Wednesday, December 9 at 7p via zoom.
Our effort is one of many as communities across Rockland County and the state of New York seek to comply with Executive Order #203, issued by Governor Cuomo in the weeks after George Floyd was killed while in police custody in May, 2020.
The purpose of EO #203 is to create changes in local law enforcement polices and strategies to mitigate police-involved deaths and racially biased law enforcement.
Hundreds have engaged with the RPPP through planning meetings and on social media, sharing our commitment to center the voices of the most impacted by negative interactions with police, Black, Indigenous and People of Color. Toward this end, we have invited several speakers who represent families who have been devastated by police involved deaths and racially biased law enforcement.
Wednesday’s speakers will include:
- Michael Sussman, one of the attorneys for Tina Davis, who was killed by the Spring Valley police earlier this year
- Kenneth Chamberlain, Jr., whose father was killed by police in White Plains
We will also hear from the mental health committee of the Rockland Coalition to End the New Jim Crow and see a short film by Voices of Rockland.
You can register for the first Rockland People’s Panel of Policing here:
A second scheduled hearing will explore police reform measures and will be held on January 27, 2021 and will feature Brian Corr, the Immediate Past President of the National Association for Civilian Oversight of Law Enforcement.
Any department of government that in the normal course of its function can deprive a person of their liberty or their life, must receive a higher level of civilian oversight, particularly if there is evidence of a pattern of racial disparity in the administration of that function.
Join us in providing a more robust system of civilian oversight of law enforcement here in Rockland County.
See also: Nyack Sketch Log: 400 years of George Floyds.
Bill Batson is an activist, artist and writer who lives and sketches in Nyack, NY. “Nyack Sketch Log: Rockland People’s Panel on Policing” © 2020 Bill Batson.