Police reform proposals sent to Harrisburg; State representative, councilmembers, police districts plan for listening session in West Philadelphia

PHILADELPHIA (WPVI) -- As unrest, destruction and violence concerns continue to arise amid the death of George Floyd, the question becomes: What's next?

One local leader along with others are planning to address just that.

While looters overtook the city in many areas, community members in West Philadelphia teamed up to quickly recover from the damage left.

"For communities and police to work together as one, they need to sit down and hear each other out," said State Representative Joanna McClinton. "Specifically our police need to hear more of our community members."

McClinton along with Councilmember Jamie Gauthier and officials from the 16th, 18th and 19th police districts plan for a listening session at Malcolm X Park on 5100 Pine Street Sunday, June 7, at 3 p.m.

The focus is to hear the anger and concerns from the community, and help move forward the relationship between police and communities working together as "one."

"We have to get rid of the bridge," said McClinton. "There is a real barrier that we have to get a bridge to get over that barrier so that people can feel comfortable and feel respected."
McClinton says some of the things young people said to her was not feeling any mutual respect from law enforcement.

Regarding recovery, McClinton says it was critical to pick back up the neighbor amid the destruction from looters throughout the city.

"What people don't realize is folks who don't live in our communities, came in through a coordinated effort," said McClinton. "They pulled up in cars, some of them without of state tags, came with weapons, to rob, loot burglarize and destroy."

McClinton says, as a result, places that are important in her West Philadelphia community were affected and wanted to send a sign of hope to members and business owners.

As the PA House of Representatives plans for solutions, one of those plans includes Police Reform Proposals, partnering with members of Philadelphia City Council.

Police reform working group members include:

House Democratic Whip Jordan Harris

House Democratic Chairwoman Joanna McClinton
House Philadelphia Delegation Chairman Jason Dawkins
Pennsylvania Legislative Black Caucus Chairman Stephen Kinsey
State Rep. Donna Bullock
State Rep. Danilo Burgos, State Rep. Morgan Cephas
State Rep. Austin Davis
State Rep. Ed Gainey
State Rep. Malcolm Kenyatta
State Rep. Summer Lee
State Rep. Chris Rabb
State Rep. Jake Wheatley
Philadelphia Councilmember Kendra Brooks

Philadelphia Councilmember Kenyatta Johnson
Philadelphia Councilmember Katherine Gilmore Richardson
Philadelphia Councilmember Isaiah Thomas
Keir Bradford-Grey, Chief Defender of the Defender Association of
Attorney Kevin Harden Jr.
Attorney Kevin Mincey, Mincey Fitzpatrick Ross, LLC

"We wrote out a package of bills that we sent out to Harrisburg, to also improve the way policing happens all across the common wealth," said McClinton.

McClinton says there's plenty of work to do, but Sunday's gathering is one step closer to fighting police brutality.

"We are very excited for the police to come into the neighborhood," said McClinton. "We are going to use it as a listening session. In which the young people will be able to speak, share what their concerns are, and have the opportunity for the leading West Philly and city-wide law enforcement to listen and see what they can do internally."

McClinton adds it's important that everyone has hope during this crisis.
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