Lehigh Valley law enforcement and Black leaders gather for “listening summit”

Written by on August 27, 2020

 Lehigh Valley law enforcement and Black leaders gather for “listening summit”

By Tyler Pratt

August 27, 2020

Northampton County officials, law enforcement and Black leaders gathered in Bethlehem this week for a “listening summit” about police and communities of color.

The event was followed by a special episode of PBS39’s Community Conversation — which as WLVR’s Tyler Pratt reports, focused on some disconnect between some members of law enforcement and community members on racism.

Community Conversation co-host and Greater Shiloh Church Pastor Phillip Davis was also part of the summit panel. 

“One of the police officers stood up and said listen there is no such thing as racism. There is no such thing as systematic racism… and I was thinking an article I recently read talked about the state of Pennsylvania being number eight in the county with hate groups. “

Northampton County Councilmember Kerry Myers noted that some of the officers who took part in the event were from smaller, less diverse communities. 

“If you are not involved with people of color you’re not going to be aware of the problems you have – there absolutely is racism in this community,” said Myers.

Pastor Davis noted the positive response from participants to increasing community policing at the summit but said there was opposition to any discussion of defunding police departments. 

See the full episode of Community Conversation at PBS39.org/Courageous-Conversations

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