Protesters bang on Allentown City Hall demanding police transparency

Written by on July 16, 2020

Protesters bang on Allentown City Hall demanding police transparency

By Tyler Pratt

July 16, 2020

Protesters banging on the windows of the Allentown City Hall. Photo | Tyler Pratt / WLVR

Allentown City Council was tasked with reading more than one hundred emails from the community for three hours last night. Many expressed dissatisfaction with the police department following the release of a video that appears to show an officer use his knee to restrain a local resident. And, outside council chambers, more community members wanted to make sure their voices were heard.

That’s the sound of protesters banging on City hall windows and doors Wednesday night. With Covid restrictions in place at the Allentown building, community members were not to participate in person. So- many wrote letters, that the council and clerk read aloud. 

“Despite the release of the recent use of force policy by APD we say excessive force used against a citizen. It is clear these policies are not working and the officers are not taking them seriously,” read one letter.

And when one councilmember floated an idea of tabling the read, protesters banged even louder. Several councilmembers, including Cynthia Mota, disagreed.

“I’m willing to stay as long as I need to stay to hear what people have to say,” said Mota. 

Protesters remained on site for the whole meeting as well, waiting for Council to debate items on the agenda having to do with police funding and accountability. Those were set aside for later in the month.

And also in the crowd Wednesday night was Edward Borrero, the man restrained in the police video according to a police affidavit. He’s currently facing charges for disorderly conduct, public drunkenness and drug paraphernalia. 

Protesters applauded him, and two councilmembers, Ce-Ce Gurlach and Joshua Sieigel, met with him and promised to work to reinvest city millions of dollars in the community and increase police transparency. 

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