SPRINGFIELD, Mass. (WWLP) – There continues to be a divide between the president of the local NAACP and Springfield city leaders.
All this comes after the greater Springfield NAACP reviewed the DOJ report on the police department. Bishop swan told 22News on Thursday change starts at the top and for him, that means the firing commissioner Clapprood.
The Greater Springfield NAACP sent a letter to Springfield Domenic Mayor Sarno outlining requests for the city after they reviewed the Justice Department’s report on the police narcotics bureau.
One of those requests is for Mayor Sarno to attend a forum on police accountability. But Mayor Sarno has declined citing that the city hosts its own forums.
Swan told 22News, “The problem with that is this, you don’t get to violate the rights of black and brown people in the city of Springfield and then determine under what conditions you will hear the complaints and concerns of that community.”
In response, Mayor Sarni said, “People can say whatever they want. My forums have always been that way. They’re given the access to it. I’m going to continue these and he’s more than welcome to attend.
The Organization is also calling for the resignation of police Commissioner Cheryl Clapprood.
“I stand by Commissioner Clapprood 110 percent,” Sarno said. “She has done a tremendous job in a very difficult time, trying time, for police departments across the nation.”
Swan told 22News, “You cannot lead reform with the very leadership the dysfunctional abusive system that we’re currently suffering under.”
Sarno says there are a number of changes that they’ve already made under the direction of Commissioner Clapprood and there’s more work to be done.
Bishop Swan says he wants a nation-wide search for a new commissioner who has no ties and is unbiased to the department.