Connect with us

Civil Rights

Providence Human Relations Commission releases statement on police misconduct

Published

on

Anti-Racism Committee Denounces the Illegal and Oppressive Tactics of the Providence Police Department


The Providence Human Relations Commission Anti-Racism Committee released a statement today on the incident that led to Jhamal Gonsalves’ life-threatening injuries.

“First, we want the family, friends and community of Jhamal Gonsalves to know that we are with you in the struggle for accountability and justice. We share the anger of our oppressed communities, today and every day, as we battle racism in the fight for our very lives.

After a review of Providence Police Department policy and a discussion with the executive director of the Providence External Review Authority (PERA), the Anti-Racism Committee acknowledges that there are more questions than answers. While the Providence Police Department may wish to argue the facts amidst broad policy, the Anti-Racism Committee acknowledges that morality is based on truth. The Anti-Racism Committee brings to light these three truths:

Truth #1: Jhamal Gonsalves being in a coma was completely preventable.

On October 9th, dozens of ATVs and dirt bikes were crushed by the Providence Police Department. This show of force was calculated recklessness which only exasperated the growing tensions between the community and the Providence Police. Although the Committee recognizes that ATVs and dirt bikes can be dangerous in a city setting, the community had previously proposed an alternative in the form of an ATV park, where riders can more safely engage. Our committee further recognizes the culture of riding associated in Black and Brown communities. We support the continued efforts for possible alternatives, including but not limited to ATV parks, rather than validating the Police Department’s intimidation tactics.


Can you help us?

Funding for our reporting relies on the generosity of readers like you. Our independence allows us to write stories that hold RI state and local government officials accountable. All of our stories are free and available to everyone. But your support is essential to keeping Steve and Will on the beat, covering the costs of reporting many stories in a single day. If you are able to, please support Uprise RI. Every contribution, big or small is so valuable to us. You provide the motivation and financial support to keep doing what we do. Thank you.

Become a Patron!
Opens in a new tab - you won't lose you place

Truth #2: The sentence for the misdemeanor of riding an unregistered moped should not be a coma.

Never. Furthermore, the police officers trained in first aid, should have sought for immediate medical attention rather than dragging Mr Gonsalves, made clear by videos circulating publicly.

Truth #3: Our communities are angry. Without an independent review, the community cannot be assured of the investigation’s legitimacy. Any internal investigation will pose as a conflict of interest, therefore will fail to answer the questions our communities have.

Because we are left with more questions than answers, at a minimum, there should be an independent review.

In conclusion, we expect the Providence Police Department to fully cooperate with each and every aspect of PERA’s review in order to begin restoring the faith and confidence of the community they serve.”

See also: