PROVIDENCE, R.I. (WPRI) — Dozens of protestors rallied on the steps of Providence City Hall to call for the appointment of a black major on the city’s police department on Monday.
Supporters say this would help encourage fair policing in urban communities.
For three hours, dozens stood at steps of city hall, holding signs.
“We live in a city with black people in it, so why wouldn’t we have proper representation on the police force,” questioned Raymond Watson, Mt. Hope Neighborhood Association Executive Director.
“We’re trying to get the attention of policy makers, in particular the Mayor,” added event organizer Kobi Dennis.
“We have candidates that are more than qualified to do the jobs,” said NAACP Executive Board Member Pilar McCloud.
McCloud’s group, along with community leaders, met with Mayor Jorge Elorza three times since August. They want the mayor to appoint a black police major, bringing the total number of majors to four.
Mayor Jorge Elorza released a statement saying the police department should reflect the diverse community it serves, but did not address whether or not he plans to consider appointing a black major.
“We just know that with the trying times that are going on throughout the nation, we know having a major of color, someone with some power that can give these kids something to look forward to,” added Dennis.
City police confirm that there have been two black Providence police majors within the last two decades. The first ever was in the mid-90s.
“I’m just wondering why that two majors have to be a point of reference? Why aren’t there so many? We’re going to keep on pushing until we get a black major appointed to the Providence police,” said Dennis.