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Save Mount Vernon Host Rally Calling For Reform of Mt. Vernon Police Dept.

Exclusive Full Video Of Complete Rally

Dozens of community leaders, residents and a few elected officials gathered in the front steps of Mount Vernon City Hall, located at 1 Roosevelt Square, calling for the reform of the Mount Vernon Police Department, Saturday, October 17th.

The rally organized by Jesse Van Lew of Save Mount Vernon and the Mount Vernon Coalition For Police Reform. Everyone in attendance was required to wear masks and practice social distancing.

“We’re here because of police misconduct, police allegations of abuse,” said Jesse Van Lew, a longtime resident who has been vocal about what he says is the city’s need for police reform.

Ms. Raysor, the former Mount Vernon City Attorney and Assistant New York State Attorney General, founded the Mount Vernon Coalition for Police Reform, a coalition of former police officers, civil rights attorneys, former city officials and other members of the community seeking ways to improve the practices of the Mount Vernon Police Report. Last month, she presented the group’s preliminary findings showing an overall distrust of its officers as a result of police violence and misconduct. The findings also list a series of recommendations to improve relations between police and the community.

“We have to let our elected officials know that there are systemic problems in the Mount Vernon Police Department,” Ms. Raysor said. “Our city officials must listen to the people and fix these problems that have plagued this department for far too long.”

Speakers included NY-16 Congressional candidate Jamaal Bowman, Community Activist Andom Ghebreghiorgis, Civil Rights Attorney Lauren Raysor, Joe Murray – attorney for Whistleblower cop MVPD Officer Murashea “Mike” Bovell, Activist and People Before Politics Radio co-host Robert ‘Dr. Bob’ Baskerville, Damon K. Jones of Blacks In Law Enforcement of America, Community Activist Geoff Monroe, the rally was moderated by Ms. Nazerine Duncan – mother of the unsolved 2016 homicide victim, Wilbert ‘Junior’ Francis and the closing prayer was given by Rev. Stephen W. Pogue, Pastor of Greater Centennial African Methodist Episcopal Zion Church.

Mayor Shawyn Patterson-Howard and City Councilman Derrick Thompson we also in attendance to hear the grievances of the speakers.

In a statement, the City of Mount Vernon says, “We acknowledge that people have concerns about the pace of reform, but innovation takes time and requires partnership with the community. We are trying to rebuild trust in our department through new leadership that remains steadfast in their efforts to reform policing. The work being done will only be sped up by the newly form[ed] police reform commission that consists of criminal defense and civil rights attorneys, key community advocates and a diverse coalition of residents. We are taking steps forward to create something new and equitable for our city. “

About Save Mount Vernon: Organizers Atif Coleman and Jesse Van Lew created the #SaveMountVernon movement in an effort to identify and expose and bring attention to the total disregard to public safety, public trust, and lack of transparency by City Hall and the Mount Vernon Police Department.

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About AJ Woodson (2278 Articles)
AJ Woodson is the Editor-In-Chief of Black Westchester and Co-Owner of Urban Soul Media Group, the parent company. AJ is a Father, Brother, Author, Writer, Journalism Fellow, Rapper, Radio Personality, Hip-Hop Historian and A Freelance Journalist whose byline has appeared in several print publications and online sites including The Source, Vibe, the Village Voice, Upscale, Sonicnet.com, Launch.com, Rolling Out Newspaper, Spiritual Minded Magazine and several others.
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