Utica Residents Troubled By Police Insensitivity

by TChris

More than 60 people gathered in Utica to talk about police insensitivity and racism following the police shooting of a black resident.

The Rev. Fred Daley, pastor of St. Francis De Sales, said city police and the district attorney's office -- which investigated Washington's shooting -- don't have credibility because of "a history of racism ... (in) the power structure."

Muhammed said "there was gross insensitivity" by police toward the Washington family. He said police would not tell the family the status of the investigation and the family was not even allowed to see Walter Washington's body. "Insensitivity opens the door to injustice," he said. "I want it investigated."

Residents questioned whether the district attorney's office engaged in a meaningful investigation before pronouncing the officer blameless.

"There was more investigation into the killing of a cat" stolen from a local animal shelter than there was into Walter Washington's killing, claimed the victim's brother, Terry Washington.

Utica lawyer Rebecca Wittman said the district attorney's investigation into the shooting wasn't enough. "The matter has to go ... to a grand jury," said Wittman.

Some residents are hoping to raise money to conduct an independent investigation of the shooting.

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    Re: Utica Residents Troubled By Police Insensitivi (none / 0) (#1)
    by jimcee on Sat Dec 17, 2005 at 01:01:34 PM EST
    This incident happened three blocks from my house so a little bit of perspective might help in this story. Mr. Washington was asked to leave an apartment and he refused. The resident of the apartment called the police because she was afraid for her children. Washington was acting erraticly and was waving a gun about the place. This is a neighborhood that has a lot of children on the street all the time during the day so there was a chance that this was an emergency situation involving a danger to kids. When the police arrived Mr Washington who appeared to be highly emotional or possibly intoxicated waved a handgun in the direction of the police officers and when he was told to put it down he aimed it directly at one of the officers and the police in fear of their lives shot the man dead. The gun ended up being a pellet gun that looked like a real handgun. The Rev. Daley is a community rabble rouser and will hook his wagon to any civil rights cause real or imagined. In otherwords no matter what a handful of people claim is the truth is that this man was a threat to the community at the time of his shooting and the police took the appropriate actions in this case. Sad? Yes Avoidable, yes if Mr Washington was cooperative. He wasn't and now he's dead.