SCHENECTADY - Last week, the Schenectady City Council proposed, and ultimately dismissed, a resolution to single out and condemn city school board member Jamaica Miles for comments she made in support of defunding the police. In response, the New York Civil Liberties Union issued the following statement from Capital Region Director Melanie Trimble:
"It's chilling to see an elected body use its authority to condemn an activist and official for her differing views, especially when those views are central to their work evaluating city budgets and priorities. The issue of defunding the police and deciding where to allocate city dollars for the safety and health of the community is central to the work of the City Council, and it's outrageous that some leaders would use their authority to insult community leaders rather than engage with their ideas. When police have continued to abuse their power with impunity in Schenectady and beyond, the question of how to fund and oversee them is a fiscal and moral imperative. It's a relief that a majority agreed this was no way to engage in governance, but it remains unnerving to see any members of City Council so readily abdicate their responsibility in favor of the status quo and at the expense of one person."