Schweyer holds joint PA Legislative Black Caucus/House Democratic Policy Committee hearing on police reform

HARRISBURG, July 28 – State Rep. Peter Schweyer, D-Lehigh, today hosted a House Democratic Policy Committee hearing on police reform.

Schweyer requested the hearing to discuss police reforms that can apply to smaller cities like Allentown in addition to those being considered for larger metropolitan regions.  Schweyer was joined by state Rep. Stephen Kinsey, D-Phila, and chairman of the PA Legislative Black Caucus, state legislators from across the state and several local community leaders. 

“George Floyd’s murder has understandably made folks from all walks of life question police policies.  Folks want safe communities, accountability and transparency from police departments in big cities and small towns alike,” Schweyer said. 

“As we continue to build on the success of the recent police reform laws, it is important that we hear from our community leaders to ensure both an end to police brutality and to strengthen the relationship between departments and the communities they protect and serve.” 

Kinsey added: “We need to take action on police reform to keep our communities, and our peaceful protestors, safe while weeding out dangerous officers. We must continue to advocate, support and stress nonviolent tactics in the struggle for justice across the commonwealth. After each loss, we speak out. We march. We raise our collective voices against the oppression that is still forced upon our communities. We protest peacefully to share our collective outrage at the loss of a future, at the loss of an individual’s contribution to society and to their family. We must continue to insist on the humanity that every American is promised regardless of the color of their skin.” 

Testifiers during the hearing included Justan Parker, founder, Black Lives Matter to the Lehigh Valley; Maegen Llerena, executive director, Make The Road Pennsylvania; Nasheera Brown, student, Louise E. Dieruff High School; and Adrian Shanker, founder and executive director, Bradbury-Sullivan LGBT Community Center. Additionally, written testimony was submitted by the Pennsylvania State Police.

Allentown Chief of Police Glenn Granitz, Jr. had originally been scheduled to present testimony but a last second change of his schedule prevented him from participating.