Communities United for Positive Change (CU4PC) is a group of Pawtucket residents and community leaders who came together in Spring 2020, after the George Floyd murder, in an effort to address city-wide concerns about accountability, transparency, racism and abuse of power within the Pawtucket Police Department. Joao Goncalves, Chairman of the Board of Cape Verdean American Community Development, which is located in Pawtucket stated, “We are a group of diverse individuals who have agreed to work together despite not all holding the same exact opinions about everything, however we are united in our desire for justice and trust that with collaboration and transparency we can build a positive path forward that serves the community at large.”

For over six months CU4PC members met with community leaders, Mayor Don Grebien and the Chief of Police/Public Safety Director Tina Goncalves to address a spectrum past and ongoing concerns about the relationship between Pawtucket Police and the local community. Including input from many residents, CU4PC compiled and presented a list of approximately 30 demands to the Mayor and Chief. Enduring long silences, miscommunication, and logistical challenges, CU4PC stuck with efforts to review and discuss each demand with the City through months of in-person and zoom meetings. Though there was some helpful dialogue and clarification that came from this process, unfortunately, several of CU4PC’s demands remain unresolved. “We took the community concerns and safety of all into consideration to avoid protests and rallies in our city. We decided to talk to the city instead in hopes to use peaceful strategy to build relationships and have the city commit to true community policing. We need to be unified now more than ever for the sake of our community and police officers”, said Khrystyne Bento of the Unity Project and RI Accountability Project.

Today, we release this report to the public to share the state of these negotiations thus far. Our report includes each of the CU4PC demands and outlines how/if the city responded, according to our observation and understanding.

The Mayor’s Community Board (MCB) was created in October of last year via an Executive Order, as a result of the meetings with CU4PC.  By this date, CU4PC was hoping to be working with the MCB  and constituent liaison; however, those relationships have yet to be fully established. CU4PC members Joao Goncalves and Eric Lopez have been appointed in March by Mayor Grebien to join the MCB.  They plan to work with the Board to resolve all the issues stated in the report.  CU4PC was also hoping to support the development of an independent third party Community Review Board (as an accountability measure for the Pawtucket Police) however, thus far, CU4PC has been given the go-ahead by the Mayor to convene an “exploratory committee” to research the feasibility of establishing an independent Community Review Board. This press release is to update the community on this evolving process and invite Pawtucket residents to get further involved in continuing conversations with the Mayor’s Community Advisory Board, community liaison, City Council Reps, neighbors and us. CU4PC hopes that the vital community issues we have raised in this report will be made a priority by Pawtucket’s administration, helping to invigorate collective efforts for public safety and supporting the police department to better serve the city of Pawtucket.

 

Please find CU4PC report attached.

 

CU4PC-Demands-Report-4.1.2021.docx

 

 

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