police brutality

Community members were able to have discussions with one another at the vigil to share their feelings on George Floyd's murder and what the future may look like.
Jade Campos / WPSU

The nation commemorated the one year anniversary of George Floyd’s death Tuesday. In State College, the 3/20 Coalition gathered to honor the Floyd’s life with a vigil. 

Around 80 community members gathered at Sydney Friedman Park to mark one year since a Minneapolis police officer murdered Floyd by kneeling on him for nearly 9 minutes. The event included a silent march, community conversations and a drum performance by the group Roots of Life.

Jake Mott is a native of Bradford, Pennsylvania.
Photo provided

In a presidential election year, voting may be the most visible way to try to create change.

But it's not the only way. In a three-part series from America Amplified, residents of McKean County share how they are making a difference, where they live, and beyond the ballot box.

Jake Mott, 23, has always felt like he’s not a part of his hometown, Bradford, Pennsylvania. 

This interview originally aired Dec. 6, 2019. 

Veteran law enforcement officers Damon K. Jones and Cariol Horne are speaking out against police brutality and calling for reform.

They talked with WPSU about the challenges they have faced as minorities in the police force, their thoughts about the Black Lives Matter movement and why change is necessary.

Transcript:

A video surfaced of Police Chief Hiel Bartlett and another officer, Patrolman Matthew Gustin, making an arrest in which some Bradford, Pa. residents say they used excessive force.
Screenshot

  

Bradford, Pennsylvania is a town of 8,000 near the New York border in rural McKean County.

It’s a place where people typically hold police officers in high regard.

“Most people know all the police officers at least personally in some way,” said Bradford native Jake Mott, 23, who studies psychology at University of Pittsburgh at Bradford. Mott said the downside of that close relationship with officers is “that really makes people afraid to be critical of them.”

In this file photo, marchers participate in a May 31, 2020, protest in State College against police brutality and racism.
Min Xian / WPSU

In a special meeting Tuesday night, State College Borough Council approved a resolution calling for racial justice and the creation of a community oversight board to address bias and racism.

Council voted unanimously to create an oversight board to address discrimination, bias and racism by local government and police. The resolution calls for it to be formed by Aug. 1. Councilman Evan Myers said it was time to take action. 

“Black men and women are dying at the hands of vigilantes and police, and we need to do all we can to stop that," Myers said.

Paul Clark is a professor and director of the School of Labor and Employment Relations at Penn State. He spoke with WPSU’s Anne Danahy about the push to reform police departments and what that would mean for police unions.

In this file photo from July 2018, Centre County District Attorney Bernie Cantorna spoke at a town hall in Philipsburg on opioids.
Min Xian / WPSU

 

Centre County District Attorney Bernie Cantorna, the Centre County sheriff, and police chiefs from State College and Bellefonte, Spring, Patton, and Ferguson Townships and Penn State released statements Thursday on racial inequities in the United States and a police officer’s oath to protect and serve.