Church Leaders Seek Answers In Police-Involved Shooting

Facing a recent increase in violent crime, Mayor Joe Ganim on Friday declared June 2nd Gun Violence Awareness Day. See video above. Meanwhile, church leaders are pressing Ganim and law enforcement officials for more updates and reforms following the police-involved shooting death of 15-year-old Jayson Negron who police say was driving a stolen vehicle that was a threat to the safety of a cop.

Whether the police officer was justified in discharging his weapon is under review by state police, as is protocol.

From CT Post reporter Brian Lockhart:

But Melendez’s reason for visiting the site Thursday was to focus, with church leaders, on other things they believe are stale: Official news of the state police investigation into Negron’s death, an effort to outfit officers with body cameras, and the training Bridgeport police receive in cultural sensitivity and use of force.

“They are not trained in making peace without the threat of more violence,” alleged Rev. Bernadette Hickman-Maynard of Bethel AME Church. “(They) are woefuly unprepared to meet the challenges of protecting, servicing and making peace” in Bridgeport.

Negron, 15, was accused by police of being at the wheel of a stolen vehicle and nearly running an officer over before being shot and killed on Fairfield Avenue, steps away from the Walgreens Pharmacy parking lot. His passenger, Julien Fyffe, 21, was wounded.

City police identified the officer who fired the shots as 30-year-old rookie James Boulay. Boulay is white, Negron Hispanic, Fyffe black.

Full story here.



  1. Even before they become police officers to receive training, we need to get more Bridgeport residents on the police and fire department. PERIOD.
    Until we address this core issue we will be continuing to address secondary and tertiary issues like training and body cams but this will be to the benefit of suburbanites.

    1. Today, I wore my old, Orange North Avenue Prison suit. Boy, those things get you freaking hot after a few minutes of moving around in it.

    2. “They are not trained in making peace without the threat of more violence,” alleged Rev. Bernadette Hickman-Maynard of Bethel AME Church. “(They) are wofeuly unprepared to meet the challenges of protecting, servicing and making peace” in Bridgeport.

      As Tom White said: “Pandering Baloney”. It is not the job or mission of Police Officers to ‘make peace’. Their Job is to maintain order, restore peace, protect the innocent and property, etc. Most of the time when the police is called, it’s because peace and order has gone out the window. If a car driver (stolen or not), for example, is about to go speeding the wrong way, there’s a situation where the police must try to maintain order, protect the innocent (other drivers and pedestrians), property, and of COURSE themselves. A few days ago, I was going in the elevator at the same time an officer was going up. I asked how he was doing when he replied , “great” and lifted a gun in a bag he had just taken off the street, without anyone being hurt. Last week, gang task force officers chased a 24 year old in a Cadillac after refusing to stop, threw the weapon out the window and stopped a few blocks away. The officers ended up tasering the guy and arresting him. The actions this suspect took, could have ended in him being shot but, it didn’t.

      As for the body cams Representative Rosario is pushing for, I’d say this: I’m for it. If his reason is to restore trust between the Community and Police, then lets take this much further by passing a bill that requires all State elected officials to wear a body cam. Imagine how much trust they would have from the public when one can see the videos as they conduct their duties behind closed doors. Imagine the constituency being able to see Senators and Representative actually reading every bill they vote on. Imagine being able to watch the videos of your elected official’s meetings with Lobbyists, Union officials, and all others.

  2. Ganim2 has been the Mayor since December 2015 for a second time.

    He knows how he is responsible for appointments to Boards and Commissions.

    He knows that Boards and Commissions have a link on the City web site under Departments.

    It appears that he has delegated Angel DePara, an aide, to shepherd Boards and Commissions because of the email listing.

    Were he to review the Police Commission listing he would see that seven members are called for and then he would know that there are only five citizens listed. Two positions vacant?

    In his review he would see 2009, 2016, 2011, 2010, and 2005 as expiry dates for the terms of the five “current” members.

    Were he asked why there are no “members” serving current terms or unexpired terms, he might point out to the provision in Bridgeport that extends expired terms until a person is replaced. How convenient? You mean if a member keeps voting the Mayor’s way, he becomes a “lifer”?

    And one of Ganim2’s aides or project manager or “What is he calling the appointment this week?”, Dan Roach continues, probably as Chair?

    Does this group set policy for PD? Are they the municipal body that studies best practices for communities of our kind, poor, underserved, and up against it because of reliance on revenue coming from outside the community?

    Does this Commission act as a review by civilian body or has that task been negotiated away to the Chief for police actions that are inappropriate?

    And what body exerts pressure to assure that the Civil Service Department provides opportunity to convert (Acting) leaders to full qualification? Which of the Commission members turns to the public and explains their role and creates a feeling of competence and trust? Is such a feeling a reasonable expectation by taxpayers of those who receive Mayoral appointments? Time will tell.

    1. If you want change in the Police Commission you will need to pay!
      Tell Joe G you will bundle $10,000 in campaign contributions and he will let you name your own commission.

  3. What as ass! On June 2 he declares June 2 to be Gun Violence Awareness Day. He probably heard about the good pastors holding a press conference and quickly decided to do something. Where you orange Joe? Oh wait, is there some in that festive tie you’re wearing?
    How appropriate.

  4. By the way Joe, I wore orange to the press conference attended by CT Post, Channel 12 and Fox News and probably more. Really focused and strong commentary by three speakers on what will help Bridgeport become better, fairer and allow people to feel more secure. Police Chief Perez needs to keep those community stakeholder meetings on his calendar and making progress with purpose. In the time I watched, there were no Police in uniform or Mayoral representatives. Time will tell.

  5. BTW, I received today my invite to Mayor Ganim’s kick off event for Joe Ganim, 2018. Candidates For Statewide Office.
    LMAO!!! I haven’t supported you since about the third time you ran for office; yet you know no shame! What a phony!

  6. Doesn’t the churches care about all the other gun violence in this city? There has been one other murder since the Officer involved shooting and few non fatal shootings. The murder outside of Tiago’s Read street and the latest murder on Railroad Avenue have yet to be solved. Don’t these people matter too?

  7. Oh Bobby Bobby you are so correct. I received an email from Matt McDermott of CONECT – Congregations Organized for a New Connecticut informing me that they were holding a press conference to address the murder of Jayson Negron. Like you my best guess is that Joe got wind of the press conference and had to do something to try to still their stelow(thunder).

    1. You know, it’s really sad for me to watch trolls in the community using Jason Negron and their family to further their hidden political agenda. Notice that the issue of City Commissions and expired term is as old as Bob Walsh. Of all commissions, the trolls a aiming at the Police Commission. Last week it was the President of the NAACP. He stated he did a google search of the LAPD Police commission and went on a rant comparing it with the BPD Commission. This is like comparing apples with the planets. LAPD has almost 10,000 police officers while Bridgeport barely hits 400+. A 21 year old Black man takes a 15 year old, troubled Puerto Rican under his wings, contributes to his tragic and unfortunate death, now we are hearing and seeing those who solutions to this old problem but, none of them have a fucking clue.

      1. Nice try Joel but I introduced an ordinance that said if the mayor failed to act within 90 days then the council could step in and appoint someone to fill the vacancy.
        If the council failed to act with in a certain period of time then the person would be automatically appointed to a new term.
        Don’t know if you were on the council then but I know I got no support from other council members.

        1. Bob Walsh, An Ordinance? The Charter supersedes an ordinance. The Charter gives the Police Chief his powers and limitations. The idea of anyone demanding regular or weekly updates on a mater under State investigation is not realistic. This case involves a death in a police involved shooting. Not long ago there was a police related shooting in Stamford I believe. The case is still under investigation by the state. These type of investigation last over a year most of the time. The Church leaders in this matter have caused me to have a vision: I can see the Church leaders riding in the back seat of Mayor Joe Ganim’s SUV and Chief AJ’s SUV. Every 15 seconds, the Church leaders asking them, “ARE WE THERE YET?”

  8. Crime in New York declined quickly after 1990 and has generally stayed low. There was a brief uptick last year at the same time as a further drop in the stop-and-frisk count, but in four of the past five years, levels of crime fell alongside the number of stop-and-frisks. Supporters of the policy often point specifically to gun crimes as a rationale for its use (since the policy often aimed at finding illegal firearms on suspects), but 2016 saw the fewest shootings during the first six months of the year in decades.

    1. While New York had fewer shootings during the first six months of the year in decades in 2016, other cities like Baltimore and Chicago had sharp increases. Wait until all those people caught with guns during stop and frisk get out of jail and back on the Streets. The quiet before the storm?

  9. Well the white collar preachers are out in force. Rev. Bernadette Hickman-Maynard of Bethel AME Church. “(They) are woefully unprepared to meet the challenges of protecting, servicing and making peace” in Bridgeport.
    Hey Rev its hard to make peace with someone trying to run you over with a stolen car. Make peace. What world do you live in?
    Where have you and your other preacher friends been with all the murders that have taken place in the past 2 years/ nearly every murder was a black man and nearly every murderer was a black man. Where have you people of the church been. These dead don’t matter? You are all phonies pure and simple. Where have the parent(s) gone what is their responsibility. The cops are not social workers on a full time basis. Why haven’t you asked what was a 15 year old doing riding around in a stolen car with a 21 year old?
    When are you preacher going to tell your congregations to obey police commands weather they like them or not. When are you preachers going to get off your high horses and go into the projects and work with these troubled teens. Ill tell you NEVER!!! its to easy to blame the cops.

  10. What is the origin of America’s policing?

    According to Tony Platt, author of Crime and Punishment in the United States, “The genesis of the modern police organization in the South is the ‘Slave Patrol.’” That assessment is further corroborated by criminal justice researchers K. B. Turner, David Giacopassi and Margaret Vandiver, who concluded the following:
    The literature clearly establishes that a legally sanctioned law enforcement system existed in America before the Civil War for the express purpose of controlling the slave population and protecting the interests of slave owners. The similarities between the slave patrols and modern American policing are too salient to dismiss or ignore. Hence, the slave patrol should be considered a forerunner of modern American law enforcement.

    Whenever Blacks fought and ran away seeking freedom from slavery, more laws and organized enforcement were established to secure the institution of slavery by capturing, punishing, and controlling runaways. Those slave patrols, author Philip L. Reichel notes, were created in the Carolinas in the early 1700s and spread throughout the colonies.

    1. Ron Mackey, if it wasn’t for some African People there would probably never been so many black slaves. Powerful African tribes were the ones who hunted other Africans to sell them as slaves. Are you going to continue blaming white people like me (according to my birth certificate) for what the African tribes started centuries ago?

  11. Ron you always refer back in history when you have nothing else to say. Are you saying that the 400,000 slaves that came to America are responsible for todays policing. Hey Ron when are you and others going to place blame where it belongs? That is right at the parents door step.

  12. Again the Race card is the first club out of the bag. Today’s policing has nothing to do with what was done in the South. There my be some truth to what Mr. Mackey posted but what about current events?

    Cops all over this country no matter what color they are do a good job I think. It is only when a Whiite cop shoots any minority suddenly something has to be done about the police. The cops actions are debated on social media before all the facts are known and people were not there seem to know everything.

    Suddenly the clergy and community leaders jump on the bandwagon and demand answers. Personal responsibility often is not in the conversation. The Black on Black crime far outweighs the police shootings yet the community leaders and clergy will not touch on the subject. You don’t see them on the street corners telling people to stop the violence get off the corner and get a job.

    They would rather protest, march, bang pots, pans and tell the police brass how to better train their cops or get cops that are a reflection of the city they serve.

    I do not have the answer to how many Black people were killed by other Black people in Chicago last night or today.

    Did a White Officer kill any Black person last night or today?

    I do know slavery is long over.

  13. There were three murders in Chicago on June 1st for a total of 225 so far this year. The number of murders on June 2nd have not been entered yet.

    Where is the outcry over this?

    Answer: Crickets!!!!! again….

  14. I did some checking on Chicago crime, and here is some of what I found out:

    Take Chicago, for instance. Between 2004 and March 2016, the city paid over $662 million in legal fees, settlements and court costs for police misconduct, according to CBS News. After spending $147 million settling lawsuits in 2016, Los Angeles needs to borrow money to cover this year’s projected legal costs. The New York City Police Department paid $482 million in false arrest and civil rights settlements between 2009 and 2014—and that doesn’t include the $228 million it paid in 2016 alone. That’s right: New York City has paid almost three-quarters of a billion dollars because of police misconduct in less than 10 years.

    Many are likely to read these numbers and think of the number of people who must have been abused or killed wrongfully, but instead of an emotional argument, consider the conservative argument (no, you don’t have to put on a red tie and say “All lives matter”).

    This past year, Chicago Public Schools had 20,973 teachers. With the settlement money for police misconduct, the city could have paid every teacher an extra $3,146.90 per year. With teachers being paid an average salary of $76,000, CPS could have funded 868 more teachers for the city’s schools. Apparently, Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel would rather cover up for the cop who killed Laquan McDonald than fix the city’s schools.

    According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the unemployment rate in Los Angeles was 4 percent last month, which is one of the lowest in the country. But if the city hadn’t had to pay that $147 million last year, it could have paid a full-time minimum wage salary to 6,370 more workers. That’s not giving away money. That could be paying citizens to build roads and clean neighborhoods, which eases traffic and raises property values.

  15. You are one of those that blame the police department and its officer for all the ills of society. If you are going to do research lets look into what Subsidized housing is costing us. Lets look at what food stamps are costing us. Lets look at what free medical is costing us. Lets add everything else the freeloaders get from us. Before you start Ron I know there are more whites on welfare.
    People want the police to handle all their problems social and otherwise. They look to the police department to handle everything but the rising of the sun. If you want to hire psychologists for police officers it will cost.

  16. Oh my goodness give me a break, there was outrage and demonstrations over all the deaths in Chicago in fact President Barack Obama talked about it prior to leaving office. Where do you get your information from the Donald Trump school of journalism, say it often and loud enough and it’s true.

    There were 12.5 million slaves bought from Africa and 10.7 million survived the journey. Less than 1% of the slaves captured and bought to America were done by other Africans. There seems to be an attempt to shift the burden of the slave trade on the victims of that very trade. This narrative helps to lessen European guilt by making Africans seem just as or even more guilty of being involved in the slave trade. I’m not surprised that this logic came from an admitted white man Joel.

    Finally, the vast majority of people that receive food stamps,free medical and subsidized housing have jobs that don’t pay a living wage. Millions of children in the greatest country in the world will go to bed hungry tonight and that’s damn shame.

    1. “I’m not surprised that this logic came from an admitted white man Joel.”

      Donald Day, I never admitted to being a white man. I’ve pointed out that on my birth certificate I was classified as white. I’m comfortable in my own skin. I doubt anyone who sees me–my color of skin, won’t classify me as white.

  17. Don: The only figure you have right is the 12.5 million slaves that came out of Africa. Now for a surprise 400,000 of these slaves came to America and the rest went to central and South America. There is a certain amount of black guilt for the slave problem and that goes back to the African chiefs that sold these slaves who were captured for the most part in wars. If kids are going to bed hungry whose fault is that?

  18. This is a portion of a letter:
    “Open Letter to White People Who Are Obsessed With Black-on-Black Crime”

    By Michael Harriot

    There is no such thing as black-on-black crime.
    I will concede that black people do commit crimes against other black people. I will even concede that white people commit violence against other white people more than we do—but not by much.

    Almost every day, an advocate of the alt-right (pronounced “nee-yo not-zee”) sends me a hate-filled email diatribe on how lazy, shiftless black people are ruining America. The cornerstone of their argument rests on the statistic that 90 percent of black people who are murdered are murdered by other blacks. That fact would give me pause or make me feel ashamed if I didn’t know that the same 2013 FBI report (the latest year for which statistics are available) goes on to say that 83 percent of white victims of murder were killed by white people.

    Not surprisingly, the Bureau of Justice Statistics shows that most people who are victims of violent crime are victimized by someone they know. In fact, almost every study ever done shows that crime is a socioeconomic phenomenon. Another Bureau of Justice Statistics report explicitly states that between 2008 and 2012, “Poor urban blacks (51.3 per 1,000) had rates of violence similar to poor urban whites (56.4 per 1,000).”

    There is no such thing as “black-on-black crime”—just crime.

    That’s right. White people kill white people. Black people kill black people. I know what you’re thinking: Yes, but black people do so disproportionately. You’re right—even though white people commit most violent crimes (which means that because of the raw numbers, if we had a choice between eliminating white-on-white crime or black-on-black crime, confronting white-on-white crime would pay far greater dividends).

    So, my unmelanated friends, maybe the question should be: Why are so many more blacks poor?

    There is a definitive answer. Either the black people who worked for free to build this country, and on whose knowledge all Western mathematics, astronomy and science rest, are genetically lazier and dumber, or, alternatively, it is the result of systemic discrimination in financing, unequal employment, disparities in home lending, segregation in education, and the fact that every law, opportunity and constitutional right was not available to black people until 50 years ago.

    Nah, it’s probably the lazy thing.

    But here is the thing we’d like to know:
    Why you always gotta bring it up? Why is black-on-black crime your go-to retort for any exploration into anything that has to do with race? What does Black Lives Matter’s goal to curb violence by the state have to do with black-on-black crime? Does the word “Lives” in the name of the movement confuse you? Is that why you’re obsessed? You’re confused because “Black Lives” is right there in the title?

  19. It seems that the essential, unanswered question regarding Bridgeport homicides involving minors and young adults (and which might also be asked in regard to other urban areas in the US) might be constructed along the lines of “Why are young, urban people killing each other and otherwise putting themselves in harms way through dangerous, criminal/threatening behavior, and/or obviously panicked/misinterpreted behavior in the presence of law enforcement officers?”

    These questions certainly haven’t been intelligently or convincingly answered above or by any Bridgeport politicians or clergy… Nor have they been thusly answered in the popular media in any way that might be substantiated through statistical methods tested by measurable remedial measures…

    For all of the money applied to solving urban problems, it seems that all that has been accomplished is the identification of the obvious symptoms of urban problems, with the origin of the problems being identified in terms of the victims by observers from opposing positions — victims versus law enforcement… It would seem, per some of the above commentary, that law enforcement seeks to be traumatized and vilified and victims seek to become homicide statistics… Something is missing in the search for answers by those concerned… And it also seems, per their silence/inaction, that a lot of people in positions of power are pretty much unconcerned or otherwise content to allow the killing to continue…

  20. One of the biggest problems in the police department and fire service is the lowering of standards. We have lowered the height requirements thus we have a cadre of little cops both male and female. When you have a 5 ft 5 inch cop dealing with an angry man at about 6ft that cop has a problem and will not get the suspect under control. We have lowered the educational standards instead of increasing them. In the end it still comes down to the parents getting their fat asses of the couch and watching their kids.

  21. Andy is 5’5″ tops, but if you ask him he made a great firefighter short shit and all. What standards were lowered Andy, that’s the crap you and your ilk have been saying for three decades because you couldn’t compete with the younger smarter Blacks and Latinos. Try acting like a man sometimes you little shit.

    1. Donald 5’5 ” tall isn’t that great now you are an expert in height calculations. You want to know what standards your so fucking smart you should know this. Height , weight, age, residency just to name a few. Hey You are a captain because of me and others like me. If we were still on the job I would let your fat ass carry my helmet to a fire because that’s the only was you will get close to flames.
      BTW you racist prick did I say standards were lowered to accommodate blacks and Puerto Ricans? No I did not but you did. Whats the matter shit head guilty conscience. You got on the job because Judge Daly put you there and not because you earned it.

          1. Now Ron you know that’s not true you should have said as round as the red wood trees in California,

      1. Andy, you had nothing to do with me being a captain in fact you little shit you had retired. Judge Daly may have given me an opportunity to be a firefighter but he didn’t take the engineer’s, the lieutenants or captains exam for me did he. Who gave you the position in the fire Marshall’ s office because you sure as hell didn’t take an exam for it. See it’s ok when you are given a position, but if it happens to a person of color it’s racist. You’re lucky you were on the job before me because you would have retired as a firefighter because everyone knew you were not only ignorant, but dumb as hell.

        1. First off dumb ass I took a state test ffor my job. Judge Daley gave you your job because he changed the testing to all oral and no written. Why did he do that/Because dumb asses like you could not pass an all written exam. Yeah I finished 1 on the oral and 24 th for LT. No Day its the opposite because you would not get away with the shit you did.

  22. Mayor Joe Ganim is Bridgeport’s Senator Dick Blumenthal, a clown who’s always looking for a camera so that he can be seen with his Mickey Mouse ideas and with no money to support anything.

  23. Thank you for bringing us back to the reality of our “second chance Mayor” Ganim2 who disappoints us with his lack of serious, posted priorities to which he was, is and will remain accountable to all the people with his own voice.

    How can Ganim say he is uninformed about Police Department process when the Police Commission (chaired by one of his aides for years) has been downgraded in responsibility to the citizens of the City by a labor relations department recent contract, and the Acting Police Chief must wait for word from the office of Ganim2 for play calling (or whatever else it may be called today when a response from leadership is expected by the community).

    With Ganim2’s letter requesting $100 to support him for “statewide office” came a stamped envelope. Personally I will not be sending Joe any money for this misplaced priority on his part. I will be using the stamped envelope to return my July 1 tax payment which was made larger by the projections of his team last year and the failure to challenge by the City Council at the time. Look for the 2016-17FY closing surplus as you pay a swollen tax bill!!

    Finally, as he travels to Lebanon, Israel, Denmark, etc. on his own nickel (?) as is frequently asked in the City, I assume that Joe’s travel arrangements have no taxpayer funds supporting them.

    However, when he travels within the State of CT to “press the flesh” and let voters outside Bridgeport see what a “second chance” candidate can appear to be, are fellow Bridgeport taxpayers providing vehicle, fuel, driver/bodyguard on regular or overtime in pursuit of his dream? If a campaign fund will be reimbursing City expenses, what line item or City department can show those reimbursements as revenue? Isn’t it time for ALL REVENUES to become TRANSPARENT IN THE CITY OF BRIDGEPORT? Time will tell.

  24. Our “second chance Mayor” needs to deal with funding those who are trying to get their first CHANCE in life by funding the education of our 21,000 plus students in the Bridgeport Public School System so that they can get a start in life.

  25. Andy, you say because I posted at 9:30 I must have been drinking gimme a break. Everyone on the fire department knew you were a drunk and rumors are that had you not got sick you’d still be a drunk. Liquor almost killed your dumb ass so shut up and have a drink.

    1. You know day you make up lies and they will come back to bite you. Sorry asshole no drinking here and the last drink I had was with Joe DiCarlo at the oakview. Next time you see me I will explain how you keep a 6 figure job and manage 27 people , you cant do it and drink . Now a someone like you could do
      it Don you are just envious BTW intimidate any females lately

  26. Andy, you should embrace the fact that you are a drunkard. That would explain your imbecilic, moronic and ignorant posts on OIB. I’m trying to help you buddy.

  27. Don I am glad to see you still cant tell the truth and must resort to lies and slander to make yourself look good. Don you will always be a wanna be, you will always wish you could have been half the firefighter I was. Do I see you did not mention my 6 figure income whats the matter they don’t pay that bagging groceries at S & S .Don you will never be a buddy and I would say I would help you if you had trouble at a fire but you were never inside. You were outside harassing female firefighters. Enough of you already.

  28. Andy, I’m happy that you had or have a six figure salary, but I’ve never considered my life successful by how large my salary was at that time in my life. My family and friends had always been my barometer of a successful life. I had a thanksgiving dinner and served over 30 family and friends and this was the 20th year of me doing so. Go to my church home Mt.Aery Baptist and talk to my minister Rev.Dr. Anthony L. Bennett and the hundreds of people that attend and ask what kind of man is Donald Day.

    Go to the Bridgeport Fire department and ask a myriad of black and Latino firefighters did I help getting them on a job that helped changed their lives. No Andy, I’ve never had a six figure salary, but in its place I have a lot of love from a lot of people for a lot of reasons. No Andy never had a six figure salary, but my house was paid off in September and I just purchased a new Mercedes Benz along side the 2007 Benz that I kept. I’m doing aight Andy for a poor black kid from WV and I wouldn’t change a thing because all the mistakes I made in the past made me the Black Man that so many people loves today. You see Andy I’ve always put people before money because I learned early on that no matter how much money you have someone has more and money can’t buy everything.

  29. I’m done Andy for your good because you’re trying to have a war of words with an unloaded gun. You should have spent some of those thousands of dollars on a vocabulary.

    1. Sorry meat head I cant drink and its been 30 years since I have had a regular drink. You see Don your feelings of inferiority has made you make these scatter brain charges. You don’t know when and if I drink because I would not drink with one
      of Judge Daly’s commandos.You see Don you will always be inferior to me no matter what you say here

      1. Andy and Don,
        At risk of speaking the obvious, all of us on OIB are far from perfect in our own eyes as well as in the eyes of others. But the real source of our discontent is not primarily with each other, I firmly believe, but with those who daily endeavor to keep the people from OPEN, ACCOUNTABLE, TRANSPARENT and HONEST governance. That is the oppression all of us, all skin colors, religions, ethnicities, etc. are subject to.

        Donald, in the years I have gotten to know Andy and broken bread with him I have never had reason to suspect that he has a problem with alcohol. And Andy, if Donald is a member of Mt. Aery community and says that Reverend Bennett would count him a contributing community member, I would listen with a little less burning passion.

        I have come to study American history and each of you through military experience and vocational fire service have contributed to changes in the direction of that American history when a failed Reconstruction period followed the emancipation of millions of Americans to new opportunities.

        The marks of a failed national healing are with us in many ways today. Why we do not and seem to want not to listen to the stories of others, to become aware of the many viewpoints expressed, to hopefully discover a common and productive way to proceed without wasted time and resource, is not something I understand. Does anyone? What is the legacy we leave to our own grandchildren? Do we care to gather from time to time and make the gift defined, real, and living? Time will tell.


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