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.
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.
Rise Up Kingston