Sunday, June 17, 2012
Shouting slogans such as “no justice, no peace,” “Remove Paul Gardner” and “Remove Lane Cribb,” about 30 people picketed from the Georgetown Police Department to City Hall Saturday in what was called a “march against corruption.”
Organized by the Myers family, the event was held to bring light to what they said is unjust treatment, especially in the African American community, by political leaders, law enforcement and the judicial system.
Organizer Loushonda Myers she decided the event was needed “due to the pattern of abuses that have been displayed throughout this county by the Police and Sheriff Departments; lawyers, judges; public officials and elected leaders.”
Myers said law enforcement “targets the black community and the judicial system is rigged so that these defendants will not obtain a fair opportunity at defending themselves in a court of law.”
After the march, a rally was held at the steps of City Hall.
Minister Debbie McNeil, a Georgetown native, spoke briefly saying Georgetown “is in a state of confusion.”
She expressed disappointment in the number of people who participated.
“We should have had the whole city come out. Black and white. This affects everyone,” she said. “If you are a minority and are caught with drugs or committing other crimes, you are given the longest possible sentence.”
Eric McNeil also spoke, saying he “toned down” the remarks he had written.
He began by referring to Mayor Jack Scoville as “a coward” for not showing up at the event.
We asked Scoville Thursday if he wanted to say anything about the event and he said he had “no comment.”
Mr. McNeil said he sees all the construction going on around the Historic District but sees very few things being done to improve his neighborhood.
“We need a playground, sidewalks, the roads need fixing,” he said. “And city council got Ipads.”
He also said he sees men in his community “being harassed” by police on a daily basis.
“I ask (Police Chief) Paul Gardner, who do you serve?” he asked.
After the rally, Gardner was contacted to see if he had any comments about what was said.
“This day was organized by them. We were there to protect their rights to have their say,” Gardner said late Saturday morning. He declined comment on the specific allegations made.
Georgetown resident Marty Tennant also spoke, saying knows of “lies during official meetings of the city” and he has “seen deep corruption in the city and judicial areas.”
He warned those in attendance “they will come after you” for speaking out, adding some in leadership are “stuck in a plantation mentality.”
The website created for the event — www.gtricogang.com — contains photos of 25 individuals described as “public officials that need to be held accountable.” They include judges, law enforcement officials, and every member of Georgetown City Council.
Myers said other such events will be held in the future.
Read more on the march in Wednesday’s Georgetown Times. You can see a raw video clip on the Georgetown Times Facebook page.
By Scott Harper