Syracuse (WSYR-TV) – Dozens of complaints about police have been filed with the Syracuse Citizen Review Board for the past two years.
Members of United as One believe there is a systematic problem with police misconduct in Syracuse that will require a cultural shift and more accountability within the ranks.
“That means checking misconduct, correcting misconduct when it occurs and not relying on a member of the public, who perhaps has been charged with a crime, to come back and complain and perhaps put themselves at risk,” said Barrie Gewanter, Director of the local chapter of the New York Civil Liberties Union.
Members of United as One asked neighbors to share their stories Wednesday night, in an effort to ensure that alleged cases of police misconduct aren't overlooked.
"The police are constantly 24/7 policing this place and everywhere you look they've got some kid thrown against the wall, some kid down on the ground,” said Cheryl Ross, who lives in Syracuse.
The meeting comes weeks after a video emerged showing a disabled man being tased by Syracuse Police after he refused to leave a bus.
The story prompted Syracuse Common Councilors to review the police department's taser policy.
Data to support claims of misconduct is limited.
According to the Syracuse Citizen Review Board, 26 complaints were processed in the first quarter of this year.
Discipline was recommended in five cases and the police chief agreed to impose discipline in one case.
"I see the kids get harassed all the time. The kids are inappropriate sometimes. But, as an adult and a leader, there is another way to handle that. There is just another way. You can't be part of the problem and the solution too. You just can't,” said Shonda Westbrook, who grew up in Syracuse.
There was no comment from the mayor's office or police as of Wednesday night.
You can contact the Syracuse Citizen Review Board here
if you would like to submit a complaint.