New Brunswick

Fredericton to take closer look at Black Lives Matter report on police

Black Lives Matter Fredericton is calling for a public hearing into police operations and community safety in the city.

Group urges more public oversight of police operations

Black Lives Matter Fredericton organizer Husoni Raymond presented report to city council on Monday night. (Logan Perley/CBC)

Black Lives Matter Fredericton is calling for a public hearing into police operations and community safety in the city. 

Husoni Raymond, one of the organizers of Black Lives Matter Fredericton, said police have too many varied responsibilities, and more public input is needed into police operations.

"There is no civilian oversight of police to actually help determine the scope, determine the budget allocations, or to hold police accountable in any way," he told a meeting of council in committee.

Raymond highlighted several problems with the way the Fredericton Police Force operates, including a lack of transparency regarding policy and budgeting, he said.

"When we talk about reallocating police funding and reconsidering the way in which we do community safety, it's about making sure that not just this one group of people have the responsibility, or we're charging them to address all these problems, but more of a community-oriented or community solution to these problems."

Coun. John MacDermid said the recommendation was a good starting point.

Council moved to have staff review the recommendation and report back on the information Raymond presented. 

"That will give both council time to think about what you've presented to us as individuals," said MacDermid. "It will give staff some time to really dig down into some of those jurisdictional issues, whether it's with the relationship between municipality and the province, but also what other municipalities are doing in terms of this."

No one on council or with the police department would speak with reporters after the meeting. Instead, city communications manager Wayne Knorr gave a statement:

"Certainly tonight was about listening," he said. "The city needed to make space for this important discussion. And staff have been, as you heard, instructed to bring back a report with more detail for council's consideration."

No date was set for the staff report to come back to council.

For more stories about the experiences of Black Canadians — from anti-Black racism to success stories within the Black community — check out Being Black in Canada, a CBC project Black Canadians can be proud of. You can read more stories here.

(CBC)

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