Letter: Rise Up Kingston rebukes Carnright

An open letter in response to DA Holley Carnright’s comments in the article DA says cops handcuffed in trying to make Midtown Kingston safer:

We were outraged to read incumbent District Attorney Holley Carnright’s statement on the recent uptick in fatal violence in Midtown Kingston. In the article, Carnright implicated Rise Up Kingston (“anti-police sentiment pushed by activist groups”) in the shooting deaths of two members of our community. We firmly rebuke Carnright’s words.

We are not anti-police. We believe in the promotion of non-violent conflict resolution on both sides of the body cams. We believe that everybody in our community, regardless of race or economic class, deserves the dignity of a peaceful interaction with the KPD.

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Through the use of FOIL (Freedom of Information Law) requests, legislative research, and community input, we have constructed a list of common-sense modifications to the Police Commission and the complaint process, a piece of legislation that we refer to as our Police Accountability Platform. The legislation has been shared with the Laws and Rules Committee and the Common Council, and is available to anyone who would like to read the legislation.

In addition to our Police Accountability Platform, we have restored our Increase The Peace campaign in response to the two recent shooting deaths of members of our community. We believe that gun violence and drug trafficking are symptoms of oppression and a lack of resources. Through Increase The Peace, our hope is to create heightened visibility around alternative means to resolve conflict within our community. We plan to accomplish this through our physical presence on the streets and future programming.

Our work at Rise Up is focused on not only ending police brutality and promoting greater police accountability, but also on creating legislative and community-led changes to the way that we support our most vulnerable community members. The majority of our members live in Ward 4 in Midtown, which the article correctly identified as one of the poorest census tracts (tracts 9520 and 9521) in the City of Kingston. These census tracts have a 50 percent poverty rate, however the poverty rate in Kingston as a whole is only 18.1 percent (census.gov, 2016).

We will continue to do the work of showing up for those directly impacted by police brutality and structural racism and classism. We believe that a more peaceful and equitable city is possible.

In solidarity,

Rise Up Kingston
Kingston

There are 2 comments

  1. Tyrone K.

    Let’s cut the ‘stuff’. Activist groups in Kingston do in fact generate a negative environment – despite their good intentions. From housing advocates fighting new development which ironically creates new jobs and opportunities for all Kingstonians, and brings new public space to all Kingstonians…from The Alms House to E Square to a new park on the old Planet Wings site – none of these public-focused projects would happen without money and developers.

    Yet Kingston activists fight new development, like the Kingstonian. The Kingstonian will take pressure off of housing in other parts of the city by providing 132 new market rate apartments for people who live and work in Kingston.

    And the same is true with anti-police sentiment. You can’t argue it.

    Two murders in Midtown Kingston. The murder of a homeless man on the abandoned rail beds. Four over-doses and a death from fentynal laced cocaine. Random shootings and stray bullets. A brutal murder on a rjoadside during a drug deal gone bad. These are all real and happening right here!

    These are NOT the things that ‘activists’ or anyone should be fighting for, or wanting in Kingston. That is a really backward messed-up mentality. That is not supporting equality, or healthy communties, or opportunity. That is standing aside, yelling loudly while people actually are dying here. While real violent crime is being committed by people who are not ‘victims’ – they set out to commit a crime. They chose and put themselves into a violent crime situation. We should not be defending this. That is just stupid.

    Police have to have the ability to make the quick decisions that are required when individuals in our larger
    population have decide without fear of being called out about decisions that protect the larger population.

    We can not second guess everything. Or we get no where. We make no progress.

    The majority of us are held accountable every single day to do our personal best to do the right thing,
    And I’m sorry some of us don’t make good choices. And some of us willingly walk right into criminal activity.
    But I do not accept that we have to protest and defend those people. It is not empathetic. Or logical. Or
    socially responsible. This kind of activism is about letting people slide, letting people get away with
    – well, literally murder.

    I don’t want that here.
    Anyone with a vested interest in our city does not want that here.

    So, if these folks really want to make meaningful social change, then start going door to door and educate
    directly. Donate your time and your money to education, food, shelter – but do not hold our police to some unreasonable standard when the very people they face daily have no regard for those standards.

    That’s reality, and reality is not good sometimes.
    But it is reality, and we have to confront it honestly, not through some twisted social agenda.

    And come on – drug trafficking and gun violence – are not symptoms of oppression by police or government,
    they are symptoms of: A: Choice B: Oppression committed by gangs who are seeking a large profit motive
    C: Individuals who are actively involved in the BUSINESS of crime.

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