Protests planned as Allentown city leaders set to discuss reforming police policies

Written by on July 29, 2020

Protests planned as Allentown city leaders set to discuss reforming police policies

By Tyler Pratt

July 29, 2020

Protestors gathered in front of the PPL Center in downtown Allentown July 14th to call for the defunding of police and change in policies after a video went viral of a man being detained outside of St. Luke’s hospital in Allentown. Photo | Tyler Pratt

Allentown city leaders will go on the record Wednesday evening, about reforming police policies and city council plans to discuss making major changes to law enforcement. 

Councilmember CeCe Gerlach introduced a resolution that includes proposals to ban any exceptions to police chokeholds and create a citizen review board when excessive force is used. And she wants to see more information on race and gender in police calls.

“If there are any type of implicit biases that may be prevalent in the police force here in allentown – data doesn’t lie,” said Gerlach.

She also wants to talk about whether police are the right responders for all calls.

“I do know a significant number of the calls that the police respond to aren’t calls of deadly violence  – it’s mental health, it’s homelessness, it’s drug and alcohol and we can’t continue to expect our police officers to be experts in all things.”

Dueling rallies are expected outside council chambers – both for the resolution, and against making changes to policing.

Gerlach’s resolution is already supported by a majority in Council, but an official vote isn’t expected until a later meeting.

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