* 1-14-19 UPDATE – “FIGHTING THIS GAME FOR TOO LONG!”

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THE NEXT STEP FORWARD!

    

Darlene Byrd and City Councilman Ismail Smith Wade-El.

*     Darlene Byrd’s conversation with Lancaster city council last Tuesday night continues below and picks up right after Ismail Smith Wade-El’s reply further down in this post.
     Her daughter and grand-daughter were involved in a mistaken identity police stop on May 12th of this year. She complained about and worked with council to revise the police complaint form. But she still has not received answers.
     Her comments do not end with this. She then turns to the head of the Public Safety Committee, Councilman Pete Soto, and continues. That will be coming…

—  Darlene Byrd – I understand that’s the whole picture. But we’re talking about a civilian complaint form which is filed and goes through the Lancaster City process. I have came here and I went through that whole process and I took council along with me.
     It’s broken and it does not work and there needs to be a step. Maybe we don’t have subpoena power but there’s no reason and the DA has said – and if I need to bring him here I can do that – there is no reason why we don’t have a citizen’s review panel. I think that situation we went through would have came out a lot differently if we had residents hearing the issues that went down. And they have the right to know the same information that I got and decisions could have been made that were not made in our favor and what I think was justice.
     Like I said, I’m not looking for revenge. I brought this council solutions. I’ve seen and I went through the whole process. It’s broken. We need to take the next step. You already have that – the NAACP, you have Stand up for Lancaster – you have every committee come to you and say we need a citizen’s review board. So it’s time to take it to the top level and not say, oh, we don’t have subpoena power to do this. We have to start somewhere. We can’t continue to say we are not moving forward.

—  Ismail Smith Wade-El – Ms. Byrd, I’m sorry that’s inaccurate because Lancaster Stands UP and the NAACP have concluded in their call for a citizen’s review board specifically to include the subpoena power and frankly, uh, uh, I agree with you that often the Lancaster City Police are out of line. That’s me as an individual council member but I also think that my experience with the District Attorney, as regards those cases that you can see in Lancaster Online or as case after case has turned out, has a very different take on what does constitute police misconduct than he may be letting you know.

—  Darlene Byrd – Right, and I’m not disputing that. Like I said, we’re talking about civilian complaint form that is filed with the Lancaster City Police. There is no reason why we don’t have residents able to look over that information. You have one Sgt.  – Lopez that looks at the information, was hired by the police – who does not even report back to the complainee. We filed a complaint. He tried to justify what the police did. He didn’t investigate and do fact finding. He didn’t come back to us and say this is what we found out. That is something that this board could do that would not interfere with whatever the DA has said but would also give us some justification on what is actually happening with our complaints.
     We agreed that the form was wrong. We fixed the form but now the process is wrong. So what are we going to do – stop there? We’ve got to take the next step forward. If the next step forward is to come up with a citizen review board maybe [inaudible] DA said, the next step is where you are trying to fight for that subpoena power. But to sit back and let him tell us no and go no where – is not the answer.

—  Ismail Smith Wade-El – We have not in matter of fact gone no where. I understand what you’re saying to me, Darlene, but that’s just not true because sitting in the room, the NAACP, Lancaster Stands Up, [inaudible], the police chief, the Pennsylvania – the State Human Relations Commission and the Department of Justice are working on this very thing and it continues. So, um, I just can’t – not even by me – but even by the work of all those people – can’t allow you to just say that nothing is going on because there is important work being done.

1-14-19 UPDATE

   

     From the front page of today’s LNP print edition (left) – you can watch last night’s entire Martin Luther King Celebration including Pastor Amos Brown on the “See-Thru City – Lancaster, PA” Facebook page (click here).

     Coming later today – more from Darlene Byrd!

GIVE THEM THE BYRD! – 2

Photo of Darlene Byrd by LNP photographer Blaine Shahan and it accompanies the LNP article, “In the spotlight: South Ann Street activist finds hope in faith, volunteerism,” (click here).
*
      The below is the beginning of Darlene Byrd’s comments and questions to city council at Tuesday night’s meeting. Oh, there’s more – a lot more – and that will be coming. This woman is determined and wonderful!
    
     I was here two council meetings ago and I addressed some issues – about how many police and how much taxpayer dollars we are paying for cases in suits. And I think Mayor Sorace approached me today and said she did email me. Unfortunately I did not get to read the email but I did ask for a report from council to see – and I’m hoping that someone from council got that report – on how much taxpayers are paying for lawsuits.
     You know, we’ve been sued by the EPA and the police department has been sued many a times for misconduct and I would like to know what those are and if council had time to respond and get that message to me? Or are you working on getting that report?
*
[City Council President James Reichenbach tells her to read Mayor Sorace’s email and that might answer her question.]
*
     The other thing I had asked too was about the two officers that were charged for domestic violence after we and the council and the city declared domestic violence month. We had two officers – what is happening with that and I had again asked council for their comments. I don’t know if you had addressed that or not?
     Also, as you know we are still looking at the incident that happened on May 12th. I did take the next step. I reported that to the DA and he is now looking into it. I am once again coming to council. I know that Ismail made a comment that the DA could not support a citizen review committee. That is not so. I spoke with him and I think he said he spoke to you, Mayor, saying that he would support a citizen review committee that would address complaints that were made to them.
     I am asking council what can we do to take that next step? We’ve been playing this game and fighting this game for too long! So what’s the next step?
*
— Councilman Ismail Smith Wade-El – So, Ms. Byrd, to clarify – I have received a personal no statement on a citizen review board with subpoena power and if DA Stedman came to you and said he would support a citizen review board with the appropriate subpoena power then we would be having an entirely different conversation. But to date there has been no support for it – or – the DA has shown no support for a board or for actually giving that board the power to actually reach into investigations and collect evidence even when the police department or DA decide that information is behind closed doors – which for me is the whole picture.

9 Responses to * 1-14-19 UPDATE – “FIGHTING THIS GAME FOR TOO LONG!”

  1. Anonymous says:

    Stedman will never approve a citizen review board with any teeth. He would lose the support of the Lancaster County Chiefs of Police Assoc. AND the rank and file which will cost him his judgeship in the upcoming election. Sad….but true. The councilman is right. The police and the d-a work hand in hand to cover up their own crimes. They operate in complete secrecy- with NO transparency, whatsoever. Craig Stedman works for the Commonwealth. i.e. The PEOPLE. He is supposed to be independent, fair, objective, honest, ethical, justiciable, etc. He is NONE of those things. He is on the police payroll. If you have ever been Nifonged by him, you will know, exactly, what I mean. God help ALL of us if he ever becomes a judge. Also, it would not surprise me at all if he did tell the councilman one thing while talking out of the other side of his mouth to the female activist. It is the ONLY thing he does semi-well.

  2. Lang Kisster says:

    huh?

    -A vibrant exciting parking ramp

  3. Anonymous says:

    Is it really worth not even considering a police review board if no subpoenas?

    Still seems like it could easily handle issues like Darlene’s.

  4. huh? says:

    We have decided to move the library closer to the homeless people for vibrant and exciting interactions between the homeless and kids and librarians to increase the police officers chances​ for target practice.

    BTW,don’t ask us what plans the city has for the old library building. We are presently working with the Historic Preservation Trust on how best to vibrantly and excitingly demolish it for ….. (Fill in the blank)

  5. Lang Kisster says:

    -Lancaster is a vibrant exciting city!

    -Central Market is vibrant and exciting!

    -This new restaurant is vibrant and exciting!

    -I don’t have all the facts, but I’ll second guess the police anyway. What that officer did was clearly not vibrant and exciting!

    -We need to deal with homeless people in Binns Park. Imagine how you-a young professional who just bought a $290,000 condo in a former factory feel-eating a steak tare tare appitzer with a vibrant exciting house dressing having to look out the window and see homeless people?

  6. Lang Kisster says:

    -You like me! Frankly you really like me!

  7. Anonymous says:

    I get it_______

  8. Lang Kisster says:

    The Mayor Dickina Response Sheet (You may choose more than one)

    My hands are tied______

    I’m looking in to that_____

    Send me your email address______

    I sent you an email _______

    Didn’t you get the email I sent you?______

    This is exciting!______

    I’ll send you an email______