YOUNGSTOWN – The Youngstown Police Association’s Patrol Union takes a strong exception to a comment by Mayor Jamael Tito Brown during a memorial at Union Baptist Church on Tuesday, the anniversary of the assassination of George Floyd by a Minneapolis police officer.
During the event, when the mayor was young, he said he hadn’t thought of being killed by the police. “Now we have to worry about whether we will be arrested, tried and executed by law enforcement on the side of the road,” he said.
A statement by James Rowley, YPA President, is devastating:
“The area we are concerned about is testimony from the Mayor of Youngstown. Mayor Brown said he was concerned about “roadside arrest, trial and execution” by law enforcement agencies. This kind of divisive rhetoric has been going on for too long. Mayor Brown doesn’t say it has been more than a decade since the Youngstown Police Department was forced to take their own lives, ”Rowley wrote.
“In this case it was sensible and justified. In the past few years of lethal force use, OUR officers stopped using lethal force when the threat ceased, thereby saving lives. Mayor Brown presides over some of the deadliest times to be a young black man in this city, and his police department is not causing it.
“According to the Youngstown Police Association, the mayor should trumpet us as an example of how policing should be carried out. Our use of force is 0.10 percent. Youngstown Police Department members rarely use violence and have rarely used excessive force.
“Hyperbolic statements that claim that we are out here and that we are harming the residents when it is simply not true are dangerous and downright wrong. The idea arises that we are an adversary rather than an ally. “
The mayor, who was asked for a response by The Vindicator, said he couldn’t understand the criticism because he praised members of the Youngstown Police Department at the event.
“You lead from the front,” said Brown.
Brown said that instead of attacking him, the YPA president should join him in criticizing injustices at the national level. He said he will not take back his words from Tuesday’s event.
“I have spoken from the bottom of my heart as the father of four African American children, I cannot keep silent about these injustices … across the country,” Brown said. “I was talking about the national narrative, not the Youngstown narrative. I spoke to George Floyd about the incident. We have no problem with our police here. “
Also at the event, the mayor said he spoke with his eldest child, who is 31 years old, about “being an African American man in Youngstown City.”
The union’s press release continued, “We’re glad Mayor Brown spoke to his son about being an ‘African American man in the town of Youngstown.’ We hope he has explained to him that it is safer to call the police than to go to the club for a drink.
“The men and women of the Youngstown Police Association will continue to be the professional law enforcement organization our community has come to expect. Our men and women are tired of being covered up by the story that they use excessive force and kill minorities or anyone else. I firmly believe that Youngstown Police Department members have more community contact than politicians. “
Get the latest news and more in your inbox