Community Conversations: Race And Policing In Vermont
Since the death of George Floyd in Minneapolis, calls for police reform and an end to systemic racism have echoed across the country, including Vermont. Join VPR and Vermont PBS for a community conversation on issues of race, injustice and policing in Vermont.
Our hosts are:
- Peter Hirschfeld, reporter at VPR
- Traci Griffith, professor of media studies, journalism and digital arts at St. Michael's College
Our guests are:
- Xusana Davis, Vermont's executive director of racial equity
- Jon Murad, acting chief of police for the Burlington Police Department
- Ali Dieng, Burlington city councilor for Ward 7
- Mia Schultz, Bennington resident, vice chair of the Bennington Town Democratic Party and a member of the Vermont Ethnic Studies Coalition
- Mark Anderson, sheriff for Windham County and a representative of the Vermont Sheriffs' Association
- Stephanie Seguino, professor of economics at the University of Vermont and fellow with the Gund Institute for the Environment
And we want to hear from you: what do you make of recent calls for police reform? What does reform look like to you at this moment? We encourage you to join in the discussion by sharing your thoughts and questions.
Note: VPR invited Bennington Police Chief Paul Doucette to the discussion. He could not participate and did not respond to a request for a statement ahead of the live event. He has since reached with this message:
"Members of the Bennington Police Department continue to work with all members of the Bennington community in a fair and impartial manner as we continue building positive relationships. We are in the process of working with Curtis Reed and the Vermont Partnership for Fairness and Diversity. We are also working on implementing the changes suggested by the IACP.
"The Bennington Police Department, along with numerous Departments around the State of Vermont, was appalled at the actions and lack of actions by Minneapolis police officers. We have been supportive of peaceful protests here in Bennington and made sure protesters feel secure in their right to assembly and speech.
"As the Chief of Police in Bennington, I support the review of law enforcement practices surrounding response to active resistance and use of force. We will be considering recent events when we review our polices and procedures."
This conversation was recorded on Thursday, June 18, 2020.