In the wake of the death of George Floyd in Minneapolis, a working group is being formed to review Westchester County Police policies.
Westchester County Executive George Latimer announced that a group of prominent county leaders and officials would form the working group to evaluate police processes and procedures as protests continue to erupt around the country.
The working group already includes Westchester County Police Commissioner Thomas Gleason, Deputy Police Commissioner Terrance Raynor, some county residents, as well as Mayo Bartlett and Leroy Frazier, prominent African American lawyers.Latimer said that the working group will be comprised of:
- County and local police;
- Members of the Human Rights Commission;
- African American clergy;
- Justice advocates;
- Members of the Police Board.
“(It is) a working group to review in detail all of the procedures and policies that are used by the county at our County Police Academy to train new police recruits and to provide in-service training for those that are already working in law enforcement,” Latimer said.
“And to establish changes and reforms that are needed to make sure that every police officer, new or old, understands how we avoid and place implicit racism or any biased behavior in the conduct of their duties.”
Latimer said the county’s Human Rights Commission will evaluate the information provided by the working group to determine how to best move forward as a county in the wake of Floyd’s death.
“Their work will culminate in a report with specific recommendations within 30 days, that we would intend to implement, that will help us utilize best practices and send a clear message that our law enforcement community will be at the forefront of reform,” he said. “That George Floyd shall not have died in vain, that his death will have meaning in the change that it fosters.”
There were many peaceful protests throughout Westchester in the past few days, though there were some incidents of looting that were unrelated to the protesters.
“Across Westchester yesterday, in New Rochelle, in Hastings, in Peekskill, in Ardsley, men and women marched and rallied and met to protest to call for new policies," Latimer said. "They met in peace. Within the bounds of civil discourse in a free democracy.
“They conducted themselves with honor. And the police who worked alongside them did so as well with honor.”
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