Tag Archives: Worcester Police Department

Worcester and the Department of Justice – meeting #1, May 18, 2015

By Gordon Davis

The first of several race relations discussions initiated by Worcester City Manager Edward Augustus began last night at the YWCA, Worcester. The discussions, so far, seemed poorly designed and did not reach the people who needed to be at the table.

Young men of color were conspicuously absent.

In the meeting room, which was filled to capacity, young men of color and those who interact with them could be counted on one hand.

Muhammad Ali-Salaam of the Community Relations Division of the Department of Justice (DOJ) explained as best he could what the discussions were about. He had with him a team of facilitators who sat at each table.

Mr. Ali-Salaam said that the DOJ came at the request of the City Manager. The discussions on race relations were intended to vet Augustus’ plan for more diversity in Worcester government/public life and to get input from the community. Augustus said he is hopeful that these discussions would be more fruitful than the other discussions on race held previously in Worcester.

In response to a question about the DOJ investigating the Worcester Police Department for misconduct and Worcester City government for malicious prosecution, Mr. Ali-Salaam said the petition for such investigations should go to Ms. Carmen Ortiz, the U.S. Attorney for this district. She has a field office in Worcester.

Mr. Culin Owyang, Deputy Attorney General for Massachusetts, said he and the Attorney General hoped to have a positive impact on Worcester’s discussions on race and to give them some structure.

On the subject of Worcester District Attorney (DA) Joseph Early Jr. recusing his office from the prosecution of a Worcester police officer accused of beating a shackled prisoner and transferring the prosecution to Attorney General Maura Healy’s office, Mr. Owyang had no comment.

He said DA Early should be asked those questions. He had no comment on why DA Early did not erect a legal wall around the prosecution or appoint a special prosecutor.

Several people in attendance said the racial tension in Worcester has been centered around Black Lives Matter demonstrations and Worcester Police misconduct and alleged public safety issues at North High School.

There were few, if any protesters, from Black Lives Matter and no high school students from North High School.


The outreach could be better for the city’s upcoming discussions on public safety and education.

Two young men of color who were at the meeting expressed disappointment with the low turnout of young men of color.

Born Taylor, a young Black man, said he felt that some good could come from the discussions, but he also felt that the division of attendees by table could have been better. He thought discussions would not attain some of their goals if more young men of color did not attend.

Caleb Encarnacion-Rivera, a young Hispanic man, said he came in order to help the improvement of the city. He was especially motivated because now he had a child in the Worcester Public Schools.

Like Mr. Taylor, Mr. Encarnacion-Rivera hoped that more young men of color would attend the future discussions.

Two Worcester city councillors, Gary Rosen and Sarai Rivera, said they were there to learn more.

City Manager Augustus said we should not be held captive by the past, where similar discussions started out enthusiastically but nothing significant came about.

One white woman said there is no racial problem in Worcester. She said that there were only agitators stirring things up, causing the problems. While she was speaking, my thoughts went to the old civil rights movement where Bull Connors said something similar about happy Negroes and outside agitators.

Another white woman said some in the room were unaware that the term “color blindness” in terms of race had shifted from a relatively progressive phrase to a code word for institutional racism. Although honest and a plea for discourse, such comments will make the discussions difficult for some people of color.

A black woman who said that the DOJ should investigate the Worcester Police was booed by some white people, even though the facilitators told the participants that they should be respectful of everyone’s ideas and opinions.

Instead of reducing racial tensions in Worcester, the discussions might be the source of increased racial tensions.

One person noticeably absent was Brenda Jenkins of the YMCA and the Mosaic Cultural Complex. She is an important Black leader in the City of Worcester. Several people came to me and asked me where Brenda was. They speculated that she might not have come because the populations she works with did not go.

There are also rumors that the City of Worcester is pressuring Brenda’s program – the Mosaic Cultural Complex-  by reviewing the funds the City of Worcester awards her group. Is Augustus going to pull Brenda’s funding to pressure Brenda to “shut up”? Or has that already happened? Or has Brenda, like other Black leaders in Worcester before her, people of color on the city payroll, people of color with ties to Worcester city government/jobs/funds self-censoring herself??? To save her city money?

I suppose the politics of Worcester might suddenly change, and the city will take more substantial and positive actions towards race relations.

Unfortunately it looks a lot like business as usual – or worse.

The tale of the tapes: 4 other police officers allegedly witnessed beating of prisoner

By Gordon Davis

A Worcester police officer, Michael Motyka, was arrested recently in Worcester for allegedly violating the civil rights of a Black man being held in the lockup at the Worcester Police Station on Belmont Street. He allegedly beat the handcuffed and shackled victim while calling him racial slurs.

The incident took place in December 2014 and was videotaped by the cameras in the police lock-up.

The Worcester District Attorney’s office has refused to release a copy of the tape to the public.

The spokesman for the DA stated that a special prosecutor will be appointed and that it is policy not to release tapes of criminal acts until after a trial.

The problem with this policy, for this case, is that at least four other police officers allegedly witnessed the beating of the victim by officer Motyka.

And did nothing.

The issue in this case is not only the civil rights violations by officer Motyka but also the civil rights violations of the officers who allegedly witnessed the beating and racial slurs and did nothing to protect the victim.

This is a civil rights violation in itself and a violation of Worcester Police Department policy – which is under the purview of the City of Worcester. The WPD is funded by the Worcester taxpayer. How is our money being spent?

The tape should be released to the public so the public can review the policies and actions of the Worcester Police Department.

The Worcester Police Department, which is responsible for the tape, has the ability to release it. The WPD should be fully transparent on this issue.

The irony of the tape is that the City of Worcester has spent a lot money and used a lot of resources on another tape roiling Worcester: the videotape of the Black Lives Matter protesters at Kelly Square. Another tape reflecting the way Worcester deals with race/racial issues. The City of Worcester will likely not be able to use this tape in court, as it can not be authenticated. Furthermore, the protesters did not beat up anyone and did not use racial slurs, as in the first tape. 

In the BLM protest tape, a motorist might have been “annoyed.” The BLM protesters never ignored any police commands to “disburse,” as the police were not present at the protest. The protesters disbursed on their own volition.

The BLM protesters look like altar boys compared to the Worcester police officers – recorded on an official WPD videotape. Worcester Police Officer Motyka who allegedly beat the handcuffed and shackled prisoner. And the police officers who stood by – and allegedly did nothing as they witnessed blatant police brutality.

In the case of Motyka, the City of Worcester should suspend the police officers who did nothing while police officer Motyka allegedly beat up a shackled prisoner, until their cases are adjudicated. The Motyka tape is a part of the review of violations of Worcester Police Department policy.

These charges are exponentially worse than the charges against the BLM protesters who might have annoyed a motorist.

A defense for the BLM protesters seems to be “legitimate purpose,” which means that there was a need to bring attention to the misconduct of the Worcester Police. The Motyka case is evidence of the legitimate purpose of the protesters.

There is evidence that the City of Worcester is maliciously prosecuting the protesters. Malicious Prosecution is a civil rights violation and it has four elements : 1. commencement of criminal proceedings, 2. the proceedings are adjudicated in the victims favor, 3. There was not probable cause, 4. The proceeding was brought with malice.

This should be investigated by the Department of Justice when it comes to Worcester.

When I first heard of the arrest of Worcester Police Officer Motyka, I was encouraged,  thinking perhaps Worcester had changed its review of police misconduct.  If the review process is taken more seriously by the City, the protesters at Kelly Square had a lot to do with it. Now I am not sure if there is substantive improvement in Worcester government.

Worcester Mayor Joseph Petty has come out against a civilian review board for the Worcester Police Department, even though Worcester Police Chief Gary Gemme is open to the possibility. It is time that Mayor Petty realizes he is now part of the problem.

Worcester City Manager Ed Augustus’ refusal to drop the charges against the BLM protesters in light of events shows a “business as usual” policy at Worcester City Hall.

The new oppressors

By Gordon T. Davis

At one time racial and political oppression came from the people who called themselves right wingers. Now that oppression comes from people who call themselves liberals.  Recent events in Worcester are evidence of this shift.

The latest oppressive act is the City of Worcester seeking charges against four Black Lives Matter demonstrators (the Worcester 4), even though there is no legally credible evidence of wrongdoing.

When there is credible evidence, the Worcester Police Department asks the Worcester District Attorney to file charges. I have heard so many people say that there is a video with the Worcester 4 in it, but this so called video is not credible, as the police cannot authenticate it. The Worcester Police Department, with the approval of Worcester City Manager Ed Augustus, has wasted thousands of city dollars investigating what it knows to be evidence that cannot be used in court.  The Worcester Police Department is harassing Black Lives Matter protesters …

Any Clerk Magistrate worth her/his salt would throw out the City’s application for a determination.

Curiously, the Tand G story of March 28, 2015, contains what could be a libelous error. The reporter wrote in the article that the Worcester 4 protesters were “charged” with disorderly conduct.  The Worcester Police Department has NOT charged the Worcester 4 protesters with anything at this time. The T and G has possibly defamed the character of the targets. A Clerk Magistrate hearing will be held to determine whether there is sufficient evidence for the District Attorney to file charges.

Reportedly, the Worcester police and the Worcester city manager threatened the coalition of Clark University students with arrest.

On Friday, March 27, 2015, the Federal District Court rejected an appeal by the City of Worcester to overturn a ruling of police brutality against the Worcester Police Department. The City of Worcester has a bad track record with complaints of misconduct, as it seems to always lose these cases, costing the taxpayers thousands of dollars.  I hear the City of Worcester plans another appeal.

The money for the appeal would be better spent retraining police officers in acceptable protocols for its interactions with the public.

It sometimes strains common sense that some Worcester city councilors, such as Konnie Lukes, can seek a resolution supporting the Worcester Police Department absolutely. She was correct when she said at a November 2015 Worcester city council meeting that the Worcester police force has been reduced to an agency of harassment and oppression.

Another example of the oppressive nature of Worcester city government is the oppressive ordinance against so called aggressive pan handling. The ordinance was passed by the liberals on the Worcester City Council, under the pretext of safety, even though there were never any safety incidents involving Worcester panhandlers.

The ACLU of Massachusetts is opposing the Worcester panhandling ordinance in Federal Court, and it looks like the City of Worcester will lose again. The right to ask people for help in a public place is guaranteed by the First Amendment.

People in the new civil rights movement, Black Lives Matter, do not seem to buckling  under the oppressive actions of the City of Worcester. Communities United Collective is planning events. On March 21, 2015, the Massachusetts Human Rights Commission, PLP and other groups held an anti-racism rally at Worcester’s Korean War Memorial.

And a forum on Worcester police interactions with Worcester residents is being planned for April 18.

Stay tuned.

ICT supports what these folks are saying! NO to police with GUNS at North High! YES to School Superintendent Dr. Melinda Boone and her strategy for SUCCESS at North!

Here is the complete, unedited Public Statement of Support for North High School and Superintendent Dr. Melinda Boone from a coalition of Worcester minority community leaders and their allies:    – R.T.

A group of several leaders of color which include faith-based leaders, educators, activists, youth workers, cultural groups and multi service organizations have been meeting weekly since January to discuss how we can leverage our collective leadership capacity to address community needs for all residents in our city.

Given the recent events surrounding North High School, we felt it pertinent to respond in support of our over 25,000 students in the public school system, comprised of more than 60% students of color and 70% low-income students.  Many of us in the community share a deep concern for the urgent and ongoing needs at North High School and have been incredibly alarmed by the inflammatory comments being made about our children by the general public.

We stand with the North High School community to embrace the best version of what the school truly represents in our community.  We applaud the students who have demonstrated such strong resilience and commitment to their education and the parents who are stepping up to reclaim the narrative for their school.  We appreciate the teachers and administrative staff who show up everyday with one agenda in mind and that is to educate our students.

We requested and were presented with a meeting to discuss our concerns with Dr. Melinda Boone, Superintendent of Worcester Public Schools, Lisa Dyer, Principal of North High School, Joseph Petty, Mayor of the City of Worcester and Edward Augustus, Worcester City Manager.  We want to thank Dr. Boone, Principal Dyer, Mayor Petty and City Manager Augustus for responding to our sense of urgency around this matter.

Both Dr. Boone and Principal Dyer presented us with a timeline of events and response to those events.  We found that the information provided helped to dispel myths about the school, which have been perpetuated by local media and self-serving politicians.  It became clear to us that a campaign of misinformation has been waged against the school.  While there have been incidents of concern, the level of scrutiny received by the school has been misplaced and counterproductive to the school and administration’s efforts to create a positive climate for students and faculty.

We urge the Worcester School Committee to work with community partners to support the efforts led by the Superintendent and North High School administration.

We strongly agree with many of the targeted and universal approaches being taken and support the school and administration in their efforts to:

Engage students, parents and faculty in these important dialogues.

Expand North High’s effective restorative justice programming beyond the ninth grade

Address the structural challenges which can contribute to interpersonal violence in the schools such as the number of transitions during the school day and additional support for special education programming at the school

We also think there is room for improvement within the school safety plan and we have full confidence that we can approach existing school leadership and administration around our concerns.  In particular, we believe the increased police presence and police surveillance at North High School is a reactionary response to increase the perception of safety.

However, this should not be a short-term or long-term solution.  Research has shown that the more encounters young people have with the police, the more opportunities for unnecessary arrests and involvement with the juvenile justice system. We propose that Worcester Public School’s focus on identifying the root causes that have contributed to the cultural climate of the school and has led to the perception that North High School is unsafe.

Specifically we recommend the school revisit its plans and:

Decrease police presence in the schools and  increase trained, culturally competent parent liaisons and/or highly experienced youth workers who can be the ears on the ground, responding to conflict before it arises and building strong networks of support among faculty, staff and the student body.

Engage leadership from communities of color, who are largely underrepresented in the school’s faculty, administration and community partners at the school, in both the planning and implementation of community-based strategies to support students, parents and faculty.

Review school personnel policies around the use of social media to ensure that public comments and posts by school personnel do not perpetuate racial bias against students of color and racial discrimination under the law.

Reallocate teacher professional development resources to support district-wide inclusion training.

We look forward to working with and supporting the students, parents, faculty and administration at the school as well as working with the Educational Association of Worcester whose mission includes cultivating a spirit of understanding and good will among its members and the community.  As in the past, when our communities are collectively called to action in focused ways, we can be a strong enough force to help turn the tide in a positive direction for our children.

The following organizations and groups stand with leaders in support of this statement:

Belmont A..M.E. Zion Church
Black Clergy Alliance
Black Legacy
Centro Las Americas
Christian Community Church & The Shalom Neighborhood Center
Discrimination Law Agency Advocates
Future Focus Media Cooperative and Youth Training Institute
Men of Color Think Tank
Mosaic Cultural Complex
Mt. Olive Pentecostal Church
Our Story Edutainment
Pleasant Street Neighborhood Network Center
Women of Color in Solidarity
Worcester Latino Ministers Alliance
Worcester Roots Project
YWCA of Central Massachusetts

Order of Speakers:

Maritza Cruz
Independent Community Activist

David Jerry
North High School Parent

Brenda Jenkins
President and CEO of Mosaic Cultural Complex

Joyce McNickles, Ed.D,
Adjunct Professor, Emmanuel College
Social Justice Educator and Consultant
Co-Chair of the YWCA Racial Justice Task Force

Keesha LaTulippe
Community Organizer and Equity Consultant

The Feb. 5 Worcester NAACP meeting: WPD, WFD and diversity

By Gordon T. Davis

Each Worcester NAACP meeting I go to seems to have a ton of information and some surprises.

The meeting on February 5, 2015, was no different.

There was a report by the Worcester NAACP housing committee coordinator of a tenants union called the Fruit-Sever Tenants Union which is in a legal battle with a local landlord operating under HUD rules.

Some of the Tenants Union’s members have been threatened with arrest by the Worcester Police, should they enter the building and meet with the tenants who are also members.

Reportedly, this is against HUD rules for HUD associated buildings. The issue is now being worked on by Congressman Jim McGovern who is reported to be clarifying the rules with the Worcester Police.

At least one member of the NAACP expressed criticism of the threats of arrest made by the Worcester Police.

Worcester Police Officers Spencer Tatum and Miguel Lopez, both in the WPD gang unit, gave a presentation of the City’s efforts to diversify the Worcester Police Department.

Officer Lopez is also the Affirmative Action Officer for the Worcester Police Department. Although that position has no job description, he does outreach to the different communities about the Civil Service Examination that applicants for the Police Department must pass.

The Civil Service Exam is given every two and it is used by all of the cities and towns’ police departments to choose candidates. An exam taker must be between 21 and 32 years of age in order for the Worcester Police Department to consider the exam taker for a police officer position. The City’s thinking is that it wants about 32 years of service from each police officer.

There is a form of forced retirement at age sixty-five. It is not clear to me that this practice does not violate anti-age discrimination statutes.  People under 40 are not protected by the anti-age discrimination statutes.

The Worcester Police Department is under a consent decree agreed to in 1980s that require a Worcester police force of 19.9 percent Black and Latino officers.

The Asian population is not included in the consent decree nor are women.

Presently, there are no Asian women on the Worcester Police Department.

During the last Civil Service exam seven Asian women passed the exam, but they were quickly hired by police departments in other Massachusetts divisions.

There are today two Black women police officers in Worcester; both of whom are near retirement.

Veterans passing the Civil Service Exam are by law chosen before other candidates. The military police who served in Guantanamo and who have taken the Civil Service exam will likely be hired first. It is not known how many military veteran exam takers will be White, Black, or Latino. Almost all Worcester Police officer applicants have BA degrees, although this is not a requirement.

The fee for taking the exam is $100.

One member of the NAACP said that he was interested in taking the exam, but he was unemployed. He asked if there were some funds available for test takers like him. Police Officer Lopez said there was a community group that paid for “minorities” who showed need to get money for the fee.

The Worcester Fire Department is also under a similar diversity consent decree as the Worcester Police Department.

When, surprisingly, the Worcester Fire Department reached its goal of 19.9 percent Black and Latino firefighters, it petitioned the courts to be relieved of the consent decree.

Subsequently, the percentage of Black and Latino firefighters in the Worcester Fire Department has steadily fallen.

It was suggested that the “minority communities” again sue the City of Worcester to have a new consent decree for the Worcester Fire Department.

The WPD and WFD at Worcester NAACP meeting this Thursday!

The Worcester NAACP’s membership/community meeting has been rescheduled for this Thursday, February 6 at 6:30 pm.

In the upstairs Board Room of the YWCA, Salem Square.

Officer Miguel Lopez, Affirmative Action Officer and Young Program Director for the Worcester Police Department, and Harold Rodriguez from the Worcester Fire Department will be sharing information regarding the upcoming civil service examination.

If you or someone you know is interested in learning more about a career in law enforcement or fire safety, please come to the meeting and get the information you need to make the first step.

Important deadlines to remember are:

Application Deadline:  March 13, 2015

Examination Date:  April 25, 2015

Please join us, meet the 2015 leadership team of the Worcester NAACP, and let us know what issues we should be addressing in Worcester.

A few surprises at the January 13 Worcester City Council meeting

walk_outsingingWalking out singing …

By Gordon T. Davis

There were a few surprises at the Worcester City Council meeting on January 13, 2015.

Worcester City Manager Ed Augustus spoke a few words about the good things being done by the City of Worcester to resolve issues. He said these efforts were not well known. He said the next class of City of Worcester police officers was half “minority.”

The surprise is not that what the City is doing is unknown to residents, but that City Manager Augustus spoke at all. He has been an absent voice.

When, during the city council meeting, the Black Lives Matter people rose up singing and walked out after the passage of Worcester City Councillor Konstantina Luke’s community-splitting resolution, that moment was a surprise.

As the Black Lives Matter folks were leaving the city council chambers, Worcester Mayor Joe Petty thanked them for their input. This was an interesting surprise, as it showed that there are people in the City who do not see themselves as interlocutors between the people and the powers that be.

Indirectly related to the events in Worcester: the blockade of I-93.

It is a surprise to many how much energy this issue of police accountability is generating. It should not be a surprise if this actually becomes a new American Civil Rights Movement. And Worcester is 20 paces behind.

It was not a surprise that the Worcester City Council voted for Councillor Lukes’ resolution to support the police unconditionally and at the same time bash the Black Lives Matter protesters.

It was something of a surprise that two City Councillors voted against it. This might have been a Profile in Courage moment in their political lives. Their votes might affect their political careers. I think City Councillor Rivera is fairly safe and will get reelected. She is a District Councillor in a district that likely supports better police accountability. The same cannot be said for At Large City Councillor Rushton. He may pay a price at the polls for his political courage.

Before the Worcester City Council meeting it was reported that the Mayor sought some compromise either from Councillor Lukes or from the so called minority communities, or both.

Councillor Lukes was at one time a reasonable person and would have compromised, but her personality has changed within the last few years. She refused to change one single word of her resolution. This was not a surprise.

In a meeting with the so called minority communities Councillor Rivera came up with wording that softened Councillor Lukes’ resolution and a decision was made to make the new wording a friendly amendment. This was surprising, as Councillor actually went out on a limb for previously marginalized communities.

A group of protesters and residents spoke against Councillor Lukes’ resolution. This was not a surprise, given the numerous protests that have continued since the killing of Michael Brown in Ferguson, Missouri.

Councillor Luke’s reactions to the Black Lives Matter protesters were a surprise.  She became very emotional and said police could not help her drive out trouble makers who live near her property in the Canal District. She never made clear the connection between her resolution and the trouble in her Canal District property.

Councillor Lukes sounded distraught when Mayor Petty came to her rescue by telling the audience that she deserved respect.

It was not surprising that Councillor Gaffney – some people say he is a member of the Tea Party –  gave a “I am not a racist “ apology for voting with Councillor Lukes. Gaffney spoke on how he had to work hard to get where he is. He went to school at Worcester State College and worked a full-time job at the same time. Like Councillor Lukes getting distraught over crime in the Canal District, the connection between Gaffney’s hard work and the black experience – and Lukes’ resolution – was unclear.

It was not a surprise when Mayor Petty would not allow the friendly amendment written by Councillor Rivera to come to a vote.

Instead, he bowed to the wishes of Councilor Lukes.

The Mayor allowed Councillor Rivera’s amendment to be voted on as a separate resolution. It was not a surprise that City Councillors seeking political cover voted for this separate resolution.


ACLU extends Worcester police documentation initiative

The American Civil Liberties Union of Massachusetts today announced an extension of its police documentation initiative in Worcester.

As part of ongoing ACLU work on police practices across the Commonwealth, the Worcester initiative will now include street outreach as well as several listening sessions to be held throughout Worcester, at which residents will be invited to share their experiences of encounters with the Worcester Police Department.

The ACLU will hold the first listening session this Saturday, January 17th, from 12-3pm, at Stone Soup, 4 King Street in Worcester.

The ACLU of Massachusetts documentation project will also allow area residents to describe their experiences trying to report issues to the WPD’s Bureau of Professional Standards.

Submitting documentation takes just a few minutes, and the identities of participants can be kept anonymous.

The ACLU of Massachusetts plans to release aggregate data about complaints against Worcester police later in 2015.

“Though we have been hearing complaints about a serious and ongoing problem with misconduct and abusive police practices in the Worcester Police Department for years, I expect that this additional documentation will tell us some new things,” said Chris Robarge, the Central Massachusetts Field Coordinator operating out of the ACLU of Massachusetts’ Worcester office. “It may also corroborate concerns that the WPD’s self-investigation and citizen complaint processes are woefully inadequate.

“Contrary to assertions by [Worcester Police] Chief Gemme that Worcester residents only began to complain about police misconduct to the ACLU and others after national controversy flared, for over a decade we have received citizen complaints about the Worcester Police Department nearly every day. We want anyone who feels that they cannot go to the Worcester police with a complaint, or that doing so will do no good, to know that they can come to us.”

The ACLU police documentation initiative comes in the context of a variety of complaints of Worcester police misconduct, as well as a lack of transparency and accountability.

Last year, a Worcester jury in federal district court awarded $15,000 to Wakeelah Cocroft, finding that Worcester Police Officer Jeremy Smith violated her Fourth Amendment rights and the Massachusetts Civil Rights Act. A number of local media outlets have also fought to obtain copies of public records pertaining to the Worcester Police Department, including many about complaints of WPD misconduct.

For more information about Wakeelah Cocroft, go to:

The Worcester City Council and its ping-pong-ball sized balls

By Gordon T. Davis

Once hidden or papered over, the open conflict of the duties of the Worcester Police Department, the policy obligations of the Worcester City Council, and the demographic changes in Worcester will be like an open sore for all to see at tonight’s – January 13 – Worcester City Council meeting (7 p.m., City Hall, Main Street).

The Worcester City Council will pass a resolution supporting the Worcester Police absolutely and attacking the growing number of people, especially the so called minorities, who protested against police misconduct in Ferguson, Missouri, and in Worcester.

It is a foregone conclusion that the resolution written by Worcester City Councillor Konstantina (Konnie) Lukes will pass unchanged, its tone still provocative. There were some who thought City Councillor Ric Rushton would revise Luke’s resolution so it would be less provocative and leave open the door for dialog.

Many people are angry, disappointed, and feel betrayed by the actions of the Worcester City Council. Not one City Councillor has said that he/she will vote against the resolution tonight.

There is discussion among the opponents of the resolution about how to respond to what we consider another in a long line of racist disparities disguised as neutral policy.

Communities United is planning a MLK Potluck Dinner on January 19 to win support for their efforts and to reclaim the passion of Martin Luther King Jr. and infuse it into a new civil rights movement.

Communities United and others have taken a lead in the protests at City Council.  Their efforts have put the City somewhat on the defensive. Worcester Police Chief Gary Gemme has come out in the press with a “Black on Black” news story. The number of shootings in Worcester has increased. The statistics and the police’s policy is hard to know, as the City Council has no policy regarding the police actions and Worcester City Manager Ed Augustus is mum, pretty much letting Chief Gemme do as he sees fit. This issue should be addressed, but the fact that it came out hours before the City Council meeting is evidence of its pretext.

The Police Department has put the pressure on the City Council by alleging that the delay of Councillor Lukes’ resolution has caused morale problems among the ranks.

City Manager Augustus, who is the supposed boss of the police, is nowhere to be found on these issues.  How is it possible the Police Chief can speak for the City department and the City Manager says nothing?

Evidence of racism disguised as neutral policy has been the elections of Councilors. No male person of color has been elected to the Worcester City Council in my almost 50 years living in Worcester as an adult! Lenny Cooper, Bill Coleman, Juan Gomez could not get elected, although Juan Gomez was appointed when a councillor resigned.  Women of color have been able to win elections and their elections are well deserved.

2015 is a City Council election year and no one councilor wants to be seen soft on crime. The City’s demographics are changing. We shall see who votes against Luke’s resolution tonight and his/her fate in the fall elections. Playing the neutral, non-racism card seems to be getting harder to do in Worcester.

Another stabbing in the Canal District – 3 G’s Sports Bar

From the Worcester Police Department – public information

Worcester Police Investigate Stabbing Outside of Bar –  one arrest made

On Thursday, January 8, 2015 at approximately 11:43 PM officers were dispatched to 3 G’s Sports Bar located at 152 Millbury Street.

Upon arrival, police found a 32-year-old male victim in the back
parking lot suffering from stab wounds. The victim was transported to a local hospital. His injuries are not considered life-threatening.

During the investigation, police learned that the incident occurred when the victim engaged in a verbal argument with three suspects inside the bar. When the men left the bar, a physical altercation broke out in the parking lot. As a result, the victim was punched, kicked and stabbed several times. Officers reviewed surveillance video the incident.

One of the suspects was identified as 26-year-old William Humphrey of Worcester. Police were able to locate William Humphrey and placed him under arrest.

The two other suspects are both described as Black males, possibly in their 20’s and wearing dark clothing.

William Humphrey, 26, of 13 Shepard Street, Worcester was charged with Assault and Battery with a Dangerous Weapon. He also had an outstanding warrant for his arrest.

Police continue to investigate.

If anyone has information about this incident they can send an anonymous text to 274637 TIPWPD + your message or send an anonymous web based message at worcesterma.gov/police. Calls can also be made to the Worcester Police Detective Bureau at (508) 799-8651.