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Syracuse Mayor And Police Chief Discuss Racial Tensions In Police Department, City Architecture

City of Syracuse

17-year-old Chariel Osorio passed away Thursday, a week after being shot at a party in downtown Syracuse. The Police Department has a few suspects, and believes it was a multiple-shooter, gang-related incident. Various social media posts suggest the organizers of the party told the police the gathering was a Black Live’s Matter rally. 

SPD Chief Kenton Buckner says while the responding officers acted appropriately, some may feel like they’re walking on egg shells.

“Every television you turn on there is criticism of the police department and rightly so,” said Buckner. “But to say that ‘Are they thinking about “I’ll be accused of doing this because the party is predominantly minorities?”’ Of course you’re thinking it.” Also somewhat maybe second guessing ourselves.”

The eight other people that were shot are expected to make full recoveries.

Credit City of Syracuse / Youtube

Mayor Ben Walsh also announced the formation of a Columbus Circle Action Group. They are reevaluating the statue in Downtown Syracuse. Walsh says maintaining the status quo in Columbus Circle is not acceptable.

“I have real concerns with the message that having that statue in the center of our community, what message that sends,” said Walsh. “To tear down the statue, that’s easy. Educating and healing the community, that’s the hard work. And that’s what we need to be focused on.”

A protest will be held this weekend, calling for the removal of the statue. Either way, Walsh says Columbus Circle will become a learning site, which will display the genocide of Native Americans.