SPRINGFIELD, Mass. (WWLP) – The Greater Springfield NAACP and Pioneer Valley Project held a digital town hall on police accountability after another black man was killed while in police custody in Minneapolis.
The town hall was meant to engage the community regarding concerns with police brutality, misconduct, and relations with the public.
The organization called for a commission to be established to identify issues including the appropriate use of lethal force by law enforcement as well as a fair representation of all people in the criminal justice system.
Bishop Talbert W. Swan II, President of Springfield’s NAACP told 22News that if lethal force goes unchecked then Springfield could see intense civil unrest.
“We dodge many bullets over the years where incidences have occurred that could have caused the civil unrest that we see on our television happening around the nation, that could be us in Springfield,” said Swan.
Mayor Domenic Sarno and Police Commissioner Cheryl Clapprood were meant to join the forum, but had canceled.
In a statement from the President of the Springfield NAACP, he expressed his disappointment and said he has growing concern about civil unrest in Springfield.