It’s disappointing to read the first line of a release from Borough President Eric Adams’ office: “In the wake of South Carolina police shooting.”
What happened to the discussions of community-police relations in New York City? There’s a human-to-human disconnect that’s long existed and the first step is getting to know the men and women tasked with protecting your life on a day-to-day basis.
The onus here is on both the community and those elected to represent it.
Of course, the April 14th meeting at the New Lots Library was positive, but it brought about 50 residents. According to the 2010 census, the population of East New York was around 183,000. That’s only 0.02 percent of residents.
There seems to be a lack of action from both sides. Since the protests subsided and the chants of “black lives matter,” began to diminish, it’s almost like everyone forgot what happened last summer with Michael Brown and Eric Garner.
Now it’s taken the tragic shooting death of Walter Scott in South Carolina to start the conversation back up again. It’s reactionary and unfortunate, because it’s a conversation that needs to be happening constantly.
This isn’t one discussion or a brief back-and-forth. One town hall meeting won’t solve anything.
But it takes two to tango. It’s one thing to hold a meeting every month or even every week, but when only 0.02 percent of a neighborhood’s estimated population shows up that’s problematic.
It’s hard to expect someone to care about something that they feel powerless with, but it’s the unfortunate reality of the situation. We live in a society that expects everyone to be his or her best at all times. It’s just some communities have to be better.
That’s the crux here: how can all sides show the other that they care? More involvement. Because nothing else has seemed to work so far.