SPRINGFIELD, Mass. (WWLP) – A coalition of community organizations gathered outside the Springfield Police Department Monday, to demand the removal of Police Commissioner Cheryl Clapprood.
The Massachusetts Senior Action Council marched outside police headquarters Monday morning with chants and signs. Its board voted to call for Clapprood’s resignation or replacement after comments the commissioner made during a virtual meeting back in April with council members.
This is not the first time this group has met to demand commissioner Cheryl Clapprood to resign. They have been fighting for this since the beginning of summer. Demonstrators believe Commissioner Clapprood has done an inadequate job at addressing ongoing racial bias issues within the department, as well as officers who use excessive force or who engage in racist invective on social media.
“We have seen it. We know people who have should have been promoted that have not been promoted to a higher position. The only thing that was different was their race,” said Bernice Ezell from the Massachusetts Senior Action Council.
This isn’t the first time this group has met to voice their concerns. They also gathered in June in front of city hall. Commissioner Clapprood has said that the department is not racist nor do they suffer from systemic racism.
22News has reached out to the Springfield Police Department to see if they wanted to comment about Monday’s protest but we have not heard back from them.