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PERA calls for immediate briefing on two recent incidents involving Providence Police Officers

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Within the past 24 hours, I have received over a dozen phone calls from protestors, attorneys and other witnesses who were present or otherwise affiliated with each of the two events…


From a press release:

The Providence External Review Authority (PERA) has requested an immediate briefing on two recent incidents that have taken place in Providence involving allegations against Providence Police officers.

The first incident PERA is requesting a briefing on, which would include the opportunity to view all relevant body camera footage, took place on Wednesday July 22, 2020 at or near the Providence establishment named “Fortnight.”

The second incident PERA is requesting a briefing on took place on Thursday July 23, 2020 at or near the Providence Public Safety Complex. PERA is particularly interested in reviewing the facts that arose to the arrest of at least two individuals outside of the Public Safety Complex.

Here is video of those arrests, taken at the scene:

In a letter e-mailed to the Providence Police Department on Friday morning, PERA executive director Jose Batista stated the following:

“Within the past 24 hours, I have received over a dozen phone calls from protestors, attorneys and other witnesses who were present or otherwise affiliated with each of the two events.
“Given the nature of these incidents, and the recommendations PERA has made to the City of Providence and Police Department in recent weeks, it is imperative that PERA be briefed on these matters immediately.”

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PERA is authorized by city ordinance to “actively monitor any internal police department investigation of any citizen complaint alleging misconduct” or “which the executive director believes is in the city’s best interest for PERA to be involved.”

Today marks the third instance in which PERA has invoked this provision.

As of this date, PERA is still awaiting materials in order to complete their review of the first two matters it has called for a briefing on.

Steve Ahlquist is a frontline reporter in Rhode Island. He has covered human rights, social justice, progressive politics and environmental news for nearly a decade. atomicsteve@gmail.com

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