News

City council meeting brings conversation over Ithaca Police, interactions with public

City council meeting brings conversation over Ithaca Police, interactions with public

Photo: WHCU

Several Ithaca residents attended a meeting at city hall Wednesday to voice concerns over a federal homeland security grant that would fund equipment for the Ithaca Police Department’s SWAT Team.

But the underlying theme for residents and some lawmakers was concern over an incident earlier this month in which an Ithaca police sergeant drew his firearm on a group of teenagers.

Last week, Ithaca Police announced their department would launch an internal investigation into that incident. A second investigation will be done by the city’s community police board.

Ithaca resident Neil Oolie said he believed the sergeant’s decision to draw his firearm that night was a result of police training.

“A lot of people think that it’s an isolated thing. I do not,” Oolie said. “I think that it’s part of a pattern, and that pattern includes the training that our officers receive.”

Ithaca city councilman J.R. Clairborne weighed in on the incident during Wednesday night’s meeting.

“I think that when we have people being afraid of our police, that is not a good thing,” he said. “If you’re doing something bad, then you’re supposed to be. But if you’re not doing anything bad, you should not be afraid of the police.”

Some residents suggested moving next month’s common council meeting to a larger venue to accommodate the hundreds of people expected to attend.

Organizers have planned a protest ahead of next month’s common council meeting.

Recent Headlines

3 hours ago in National

Trump looks to unify Republicans; Kasich reported dropping out

17-overlay

Billionaire Donald Trump assumed the mantle of presumptive Republican presidential nominee on Wednesday with a message on unity that also suggested he was not going to work too hard to placate some party establishment figures angered by his outsider candidacy.

4 hours ago in Local

Attorney General charges Cortland County man who flooded cemetery

Rain1

The man's water discharge project did not have a permit, and desecrated numerous graves.

4 hours ago in Local

ICSD budget will address costs of lead in water situation

Water1

District officials say they've adjusted their plans to pay for consultants and bottled water in schools during the investigation into lead levels.

5 hours ago in Local

Paladino defeats 18-year-old in reelection bid to school board

vote

High school challenger Austin Harig took on Paladino despite the latter's experience, including a run for the governorship.

7 hours ago in Local

Tompkins County approves more funding for gorge ranger program

gorge

In 10-3 vote, Tompkins County lawmakers voted to spend $7,500 to expand program for one year to help city pay two additional gorge rangers