During the last week of October, politicians,
police, and press were brought to the college’s
auditorium to talk policing in the city. Lead
by Philadelphia Eagles safety Malcolm Jenkins
and the Players Coalition, as well as rapper and
Philly native Meek Mill, concerns were brought
to the stage to be discussed. Politicians and press
have sometimes not been able to see eye to eye,
accusations of “fake news” were brought up, and
press not being able to trust police when there
is an altercation that demands journalists cover
it. Will the police tell the truth about what happened?
Does the press have the right to stick their
noses into what cops are doing?
Members of the Players Coalition and the
Philadelphia Association of Black Journalists,
Philadelphia officers, CCP administration, students,
and Meek groupies alike came to the town
hall meeting. Outside of the performance theater,
Jenkins was interviewed by several news outlets,
including the Vanguard.
“A complete culture change is the only
thing that is going to rebuild trust,” Jenkins says.
Police are necessary, yes, but have a bad
relationship with people of color that isn’t just
on-going but encouraged. Trust “comes with
transparency and accountability” Jenkins adds
and with the interactions such as stop and frisk
and pulling over, they are not just unhelpful to
the resurrection of police trust, but also “perpetuates
the cycle of over-policing.” Jenkins has
spoken to Philadelphia residents on the issue of
police trust and reform which will make a difference
with the hope that Mayor Kenney is listening
and hopefully the addition of black female
officers will make a change as well.
“As Players, we put these events on
all the time,” Jenkins says.
When the next one comes around,
students should make sure to attend, this is
an issue that affects them as well and many
don’t know it until it is too late. Meek Mill, a
celebrity who has been doing work all around
the city of Philadelphia has had a say in this
matter, especially after his violation of probation
in late 2017.
“It’s about giving a voice to the people
across the city and not just the people on
the microphone,” Jenkins says.
Post-election results have brought a
“blue wave”, as news outlets are calling it,
to Philadelphia, even electing its first black
female sheriff , Rochelle Bilal, a breath of
fresh air in the wake of sexual misconduct
in the city’s police department. With Bilal
and other progressive candidates through this
election and previous elections, it’s shown
that the people of Philadelphia have been
asking for like-minded elected officials, and
they won’t stop until they get them.
“‘It’s (the Town Hall
meeting) about giving a
voice to the people across
the city and not just the
people on the microphone.