Northampton Human Rights Commission, Police Chief Jody Kasper to discuss issues of race, police brutality

Last modified: Wednesday, November 18, 2015

NORTHAMPTON — The city’s Human Rights Commission will meet with Northampton Police Chief Jody Kasper to discuss issues of race and police brutality in Northampton at 5:30 p.m. Wednesday in the City Council chambers of the Puchalski Municipal Building.

The commission composed of city residents will hear the newly appointed chief’s goals to improve the Police Department and will discuss issues such as diversity, racial profiling, the role of school resource officers and protecting civil liberties.

“We want to make sure that what has happened elsewhere in the United States does not happen in Northampton,” said Natalia Munoz, chairwoman of the commission. “No community is immune from the horrors we’ve seen happen to black people in other communities.”

Munoz added, “It’s about dismantling racism, and the way you do that is to institutionalize diversity.”

The commission’s discussion with Kasper is open to the public, and its members invite residents to offer their opinions.

“We want people who work here, live here or pass through here to weigh in on this most important issue, which is the safety of all people,” Munoz said. “We are a community of people and we have to collaborate with one another.”

“We want to make sure that what happened in Ferguson, the guy who was choked to death in Staten Island, the girl who was slammed to the floor in South Carolina— we want to be able to say we did everything we possibly could do so it does not happen,” Munoz added.

Kasper said, “I think it’s a really important conversation to have, and I don’t think any community is immune to these issues, certainly.”


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