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Police reform issues again are big news nationally, locally

Sep 24, 2020 6:33 am
In Louisville, Kentucky on Sept. 23 Attorney General Daniel Cameron announced no charges for the killing of the sleeping Breonna Taylor by Louisville police. Instead, one officer was charged because he shot at nearby property, indicted for "wanton endangerment" while the officers who did kill Taylor got no charges. This set off protests across the country, and two police officers were shot in Louisville, while a car plowed in to protesters in Buffalo. The Louisville news broke as protesters in Schenectady heard Supreme Court Justice Mark Powers delay the public release of the personnel records of Officer Brian Pommer. He is the police officer recorded with his knee on the neck of Yugeshwar Gaindarpersaud during what activists say was an unfounded and unnecessary arrest earlier this summer. Powers gave the Schenectady Police Benevolent Association more time to react to a brief filed by the city, and said he will review the filings on Oct. 13. Meanwhile in Ulster County, the Ulster County Justice and Reform Commission met publicly for the second time, and announced it is working on ending mass incarceration, increasing police accountability, addressing systemic racial bias, and healing divisions between law-enforcement agencies and the communities they serve. That healing may be difficult, as Ulster County District Attorney David Clegg says a few people have been harassing or stalking off-duty police officers or their families. “There have been four incidents of off-duty police and their families being targeted, surveilled, and on one occasion, victimized by criminal mischief. These incidents remain under investigation,” Clegg said Sept. 22.