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Citizen group calls for police reform

  • Zach Green of Peterborough collects signatures during Saturday’s protest in Peterborough against racial injustice and police brutality. Staff photo by Ben Conant

Published: 6/8/2020 8:40:34 AM

(Editor’s note: The letter below was delivered to Peterborough Police Chief Scott Guinard Saturday. Read his response here.)

Chief Guinard and the Peterborough Police Department,

We are a group of engaged community members who are reaching out in order to build partnership and accountability between our community and the police department. To our knowledge, the Peterborough Police Department has yet to condemn the violence perpetrated by law enforcement against the public, beginning with the murder of George Floyd. We feel it is crucial that we join the national conversation of racial justice, not only with our words but also our actions. Too many lives have been lost and too much is at stake. When George Floyd took his last breath it was not his humanity that was lost, but the humanity of the police who murdered him.

The common rhetoric of small-town white America is that issues of racial injustice, racial profiling, and police brutality against Black Americans does not affect us. However, denying racism is a problem. By doing nothing about racial justice we are actually doing a lot — we are marking our community as dangerous for non-white people. We are telling People of Color that they are not welcome here.

Will you work with us to make our town and the Monadnock Region safe for Black Americans and People of Color? Will you work with us to create a local and national example of what genuine citizen-police partnership can be? Will you work with us to open our arms and hearts so that people of all races can enjoy our beautiful mountains, lakes, and woods? Will you work with us to spread the message across our state that all people should feel safe and protected?

This is what we are looking for:

Publicly condemn racism and police brutality;

Hold public forums and mediated conversations to discuss anti-racism practices;

Test the police force for implicit bias, and assess current training practices. Are the current approaches working?

Conduct a study of traffic stops by police over the past 5 years, as demonstrated by Vermont state police;

Develop a long-term accountability plan among the police, the citizens of New Hampshire;

Develop partnerships with Non-Governmental Organizations to further education, advocacy, and action;

Research and enact policies that end police violence

Most importantly, we need to re-envision what the future of policing looks like. As we write this, communities are exploring mutual-aid practices that lead the way to a different future — the meaning of policing is already shifting. It is up to us to move forward with this incredibly vital mission. We believe this is ongoing and there will be conversation and action to continue to take in the future.Will you join us?

Sincerely,

Toni Nagy

Zachary Zalman Green

Sarah Steinberg Heller

Grace Aldrich

Ian Aldrich

Wes Aldrich

Seth Chatfield

Carter Hammond

Emily Cashman-Mills

Jessica Nelson

Caitlin Walker

Anna Von Mertens

Chris Anderson

Carrie Buczynski

Tyler Snitko

Jessica Sullivan

Ryan Sullivan

Emma Shapiro-Weiss

Brenna Morss-Fish

Josh Blair

Storm Welch

Madison Safer

Sonya Arroyo Martino

Dianne Chatfield

Yvonne Gifford

Bill Chatfield

Alexandra Walker

Sue Martin

Cathy Lanigan

Austin Wright

Corrina Wright

Ben Rogers

Shana DeLorie

Jacqui DeLorie

Roz Hanchett

Josh Hanchett

Morgan Carpenter

Eliot Pelletier

Abby Mattson

Kate Coon

Marissa Bryant

Posy Bass

Henry Taves

Debbie Aldrich

Ivy Vann

Hugh Beyer

Nancy Reimer

Michael Reimer

Karen Johnson

Olivia Holmes

Elina Barbosa

Ellen Klempner-Beguin

Peter Straus

Kate Gardella

Emily Drury

Sarah Burt

Daniel Thiebault

Dariana Travis

Kim Johnston

Kylie Procita

Violet Procita

Caryl Procita

David Garland

Kristen Garland

Ginny Kemp

Jason Frank

Amy Pope

Alex Pope

Edmund Pope

Avery Pope

Isabelle Laskey-Rigrod

Olivia Laskey-Rigrod

Meagan E. Burger

Chelsea Purington

Heather Chadinha

Ashley Gauvin

Nate Bosworth

Annie Henry

Ben Henry

Kristen Reilly

Sandra J. Garcia

Jen Bonsu-Anane

Cameron Harrington

Louise Sandback

Jocelyn Brown

Sarah Aborn

Nora Fiffer

Adar Cohen

Swift Corwin Jr.

Tricia Bell

Alex Bell

Daniel Fox

Charlotte Miller

Nick Morris

Madelyn Morris

Jaynt Hardikar

Maja Hardikar

Deven Hardikar

Emma Adams

Erin Moore

Sage Wheeler

Judy Blake

Tara Greenblatt

Lauren Garcia

Margaret Yates

Peggy Shaughnessy

Lydia Blackmer

Matthew Hodder

Marybeth Hallinan

Carol Kraus

Esther Rhoades

Diane Raum-Green

Ursula Doris Johannesson

Amelia Schwabe

Kymra Kurinskas

Kristin Bay

Mia Stendahl

Bob Holt

Kiki Post


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