Forum held in Schenectady discusses relationship between police, black community

SCHENECTADY, N.Y. (NEWS10) – A Black Lives Matter forum was held in Schenectady Wednesday night that opened a discussion of what local communities are facing after recent tragedies.

The panel discussion was held at Mt. Olivet Missionary Baptist Church. The room was filled with a diverse crowd, and the leading topic was police brutality and how the relationship can be improved between law enforcement and the black community.

“I’m one of the only black families that live in that community,” Rev. Horace Sanders said.

Sanders said police officers should step up to prove how they’re not all bad.

“I must really give the police department the kudos because everybody’s not bad,” Pastor Richard Parsons, who attended the forum, said.

Community members applauded after a panel member brought up the Freddie Gray case and how no one has taken responsibility for the Baltimore man’s death.

“We’ve been down this road; we all know about the 60s, the 70s, and the 90s,” training deacon John Carter said. “We know every time someone gets killed for no good reason.”

“The police are not the enemy, and we are not the enemy, so if we work together to resolve these issues, I think we can have a better place to live in,” Parsons said.

Among the panel members was Schenectady Mayor Gary McCarthy. He showed support for the Schenectady Police Department.

“They’re solving complicated cases,” he said. “They’re doing it in a timely manner. They’re working a lot of situations that are complicated in challenging environments.”

Rev. Sanders believes they’ll be effective in eliminating stereotypes as well as what can be improved in the local community and the country.

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