While a mayoral forum on police and criminal justice reform was planned to focus on issues in Philadelphia, the upheaval in Baltimore will “absolutely” be a subject at the forum, said organizer Chris Norris, the CEO and founder of TechbookOnline.com.
“The issue with Baltimore is not transparency, the issue is justice,” Norris said, noting that in the death of Freddie Gray, 25, who died after suffering a severed spinal cord while in police custody, Baltimore Police had admitted wrongdoing.
“They’ve given the names of the police officers, they’ve admitted fault for not stepping in, not giving him medical attention. To that degree, they’ve exhibited much more transparency than [Philadelphia Police Commissioner Charles] Ramsey or police did in the death of Brandon Tate-Brown,” Norris said.
Tate-Brown, 26, was fatally shot in Mayfair in December after a traffic stop while running for a handgun in his car, police and prosecutors say.
At the forum, Norris said mayoral candidates will be asked to take a stance on proposed legislation called “Brandon’s Law” — which would require publicizing all information in officer-involved shootings, including the names of officers who fired.
Norris believes this kind of legislation could address “the roots” of the disorder ongoing in Baltimore.
“Stop condemning all these rioters and focus on the roots of what is happening and why this is happening,” he said.
It will feature mayoral candidates Jim Kenney, Milton Street, Doug Oliver, Anthony Hardy Williams, Nelson Diaz and Melissa Murray Bailey. (Lynne Abraham cannot attend due to a scheduling conflict).