SPRINGFIELD, Mass. (WWLP) – A petition has recently been created in efforts to remove Police Commission Cheryl Clapprood from her position.
According to the petition on change.org, the written request was created by the Pioneer Valley Project, an organization in Springfield that focuses on local issues within the community. The petition named ‘No Confidence’ was put together by members of the Greater Springfield NAACP, ARISE for Social Justice, and Springfield No One Leaves organization.
“We do not have confidence that Commissioner Clapprood can effectively carry out her duties as leader of the Springfield Police Department.”
“People are frustrated and it continues to get worse. There are some significant issues inside the police department that need to be rectified and the level of confidence that the general community has for the police is waning. Something has to be done, and in my opinion it always starts at the top,” said Springfield City Council President Justin Hurst.
Commissioner Cheryl Clapprood sent 22News a statement which said”
“Each of the articles of the petition is loaded with lies, misinformation, or inaccuracies. We are not going to respond to that propaganda.”Cheryl Clapprood, Springfield Police Commissioner
22News contacted Mayor Sarno regarding the petition. He released the following statement, “I stand in full support of Police Commissioner Cheryl Clapprood – 100 percent.”
As of Wednesday, nearly 630 people have signed the virtual petition. The organizations believe Police Commissioner Clapprood should be removed immediately for the following reasons:
1. “The Commissioner’s decision to bring back five officers in April who has been criminally charged with perjury, related to the attempted cover-up of the violent assault of four African American men in 2015 at Nathan Bill’s Restaurant.”
2. “The Commissioner’s attempts to distract from wide-spread community demands for police accountability in recent communications where her statements have reinforced false narratives about “black-on-black crime” and the denial that police brutality is a systemic problem within the Springfield Police Department.”
3. “The Commissioner’s statement of false equivalencies between the community’s call for justice and systemic racism within the police department, claiming that racism is a problem on both sides.”
4. “The Commissioner’s stoking of division by casting aspersions on community leaders and blaming them for exacerbated police-community relations.”
5. “The Commissioner’s decision to propose almost a million dollars in taxpayer money in next year’s Springfield city budget to be used for a new firing range at a time when police violence perpetrated against African Americans has caused national and local civil unrest.”
6. “The Commissioner’s lack of transparency and accountability around police training and use of best practices in modern policing.” (i.e. anti-racism, peer intervention, de-escalation, community policing, mental health, etc.)
7. “The Commissioner’s inequitable disciplinary process which has a disparate impact on officers of color, including, but not limited to Detective Florissa Fuentes.” (i.e. Commissioner’s statement of the reason why Det. Fuentes was terminated)
8. “The fact that Commissioner Clapprood was convicted of filing a false police report in 1989 and deemed a Brady Cop (refers to a police officer who has been proven to have lied), and as such prosecutors are reluctant to allow her testimony as it is likely to be questioned in a court of law.”