By Laura Giner Bair
The Newburgh City Council meeting on July 11 reflected the range of emotions set off throughout the nation by the deaths of two black men fatally shot by police – Alton Sterling in Baton Rouge, La. and Philando Castile in St. Paul, Minn. – as well as, the slaying of five police officers gunned down in Dallas, Texas.
Community activist Omari Shakur alleged city police used unduly harsh tactics to subdue a 30-year-old man during a recent incident.
However, Rasheda Worth, director of cultural affairs at Life Stations Centers of Excellence, assuaged the emotions of many people when she took the podium. Worth said she sat with the family of the 30-year-old man and city Police Chief Daniel Cameron to review tape of the incident, which was recorded using police body cameras.
“There is no big incident here,” Worth said. Worth and the man’s family were “satisfied that this was not any situation that would cause an uproar from the community,” she said.
Newburgh-based Life Stations Centers of Excellence is a non-profit organization that “aims to improve the quality of life for black men and their families,” its website says.
“No one can describe what we have gone through as a nation, but we are different here in the City of Newburgh,” Councilwoman Karen Mejia said toward the end of the meeting. “That’s what I want to hang onto… anger, fear, and biases, should not overrule humanity. We have to have the difficult conversations. If we don’t talk about our history, we keep repeating it. Black Lives Matter. Just honor that space. It doesn’t negate anything.”
Black Lives Matter is an activist movement that originated in the African-American community after the acquittal of George Zimmerman in the shooting death of Trayvon Martin, a 17-year-old, unarmed African American high school student.
For the complete story see the Friday, July 15 editions of The Sentinel and Orange County Post.