I am encouraged that one of the outcomes from the Kingston Police Commission meeting on Dec. 20 was that there will be accountability, in the form of discipline, for the police officers who threw to the ground, pepper-sprayed, and tased a young Black man last summer. Adrin Brodhead did not warrant any physical force at all — much less brutality.
I’m disappointed that at the same meeting, the complaint of police assault last month against a Black high school student was dismissed. Why would a police officer need to use any kind of force on an upset, unarmed teenager? The police officer either doesn’t have de-escalation training or allowed emotion to get in the way of his duty to protect and serve this young student. Where is the camera footage of this incident?
I appreciate and respect our community police. I just want those officers who disregard their duty and who harass, injure, and harm Black members of our community to be held responsible. The fact that police brutality occurs is not as simple as not breaking rules and not following orders. Too often, it occurs because Black citizens are viewed differently, based on underlying attitudes, negative associations and stereotypes.
It’s time for everyone to acknowledge this reality and work to change it. The Kington Police Department and Mayor Noble have my full support when they do the right thing. Nothing less will do.