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De-Militarize Police say Peace, Cultural, Veterans Groups in Syracuse to reduce Conflict, Racism

Several Syracuse groups want to see reforms to police practices go a few steps further … by getting rid of the military trappings they say enflame conflicts and increase racism.  President Trump has suggested invoking federal laws on insurrection to send the military into states to quell protests.  Julio Urutia of the Syracuse Peace Councilargues Trump is overstepping his authority.

“The act does not allow him to deploy the military in places where the governors of the states refuse to request intervention, which most governors, including New York State, have so far pointedly opposed.”

The groups and supporters made their thoughts known in front of Syracuse City Hall Tuesday

The Peace Council was joined by Syracuse Veterans for Peace, which points out a number of soldiers leave active duty and become cops.  They say that can lead to a military mindset when police engage the public.  Charles Anderson of ThePan-African Community of Central New Yorkalso calls for diverting part of the military budget to help communities.

We call for an urgent cut in the military budget so the money can go to the millions of people who have lost their jobs.” 

Finally, the groups are calling for an end to U-S military rule 1330, which allows the transfer of military equipment to local law enforcement departments.  The Peace Council, Pan African Community and Veterans for Peace say they stand with local protesters calling for police reforms.  They add de-militarizing police can further reduce violence and conflicts. 

Chris Bolt, Ed.D. has proudly been covering the Central New York community and mentoring students for more than 30 years. His career in public media started as a student volunteer, then as a reporter/producer. He has been the news director for WAER since 1995. Dedicated to keeping local news coverage alive, Chris also has a passion for education, having trained, mentored and provided a platform for growth to more than a thousand students. Career highlights include having work appear on NPR, CBS, ABC and other news networks, winning numerous local and state journalism awards.