By Andrea Karshan
EDITOR’S NOTE: As part of an on-going series, KCP is asking candidates running for state office in the upcoming Sept. 13 primary about issues that matter and that are being debated in Albany.
Incumbent Assemblywoman Latrice Walker is being challenged for her 55th District Assembly seat in the September 13 Democratic Primary by term-limited City Councilwoman Darlene Mealy. Walker is an attorney. She has the support of a number of substantial elected officials including Public Advocate Letitia James and Congress Members Yvette Clarke and Hakeem Jeffries.
Mealy is the current Democratic district leader. She has the support of Rev. Al Sharpton and strong credibility on the street – in part through the many concerts she sponsors in the district.
The district includes Brownsville with small parts of Crown Heights and East Flatbush.
KCP posed the following question to the candidates:
In light of the recent fatal shooting of Delrawn Small by an off duty NYPD officer following a traffic dispute, Brownsville continuing to be one of the top precincts in overall felony crime number, and the recent murdering of police officers in Dallas and Baton Rouge, what suggestions do you have to better ease the relationship between the community and the men and woman in blue who are charged to protect and sever the community?
Latrice Walker: “Children, seniors, and families deserve safe, crime-free communities. To decrease crime in the 55thAssembly District I have allocated $4 million in capital funding for security cameras and enhanced exterior lighting in NYCHA developments. These capital improvements assist community and police working together to decrease crime.
“I support smart gun technology that would help keep our community and police officers safe. Just as the community mourns individuals who are murdered in our streets, so to do we grieve deeply for our fallen police officers who bravely serve to fight crime. Adoption and wide-spread acceptance of smart gun technology would drastically reduce random gun violence against civilians and police.
“Accountability is an important component of healthy relationships between police and community. Just as those who commit violent crimes in our communities are held responsible for their behaviors, our professionals in blue should also be held accountable for their actions. Police should be able to clearly articulate why they stop, question, and/or arrest individuals. And, those reasons must meet constitutional standards.
“Fairness, accountability, and transparency from both the community and police will improve relations while decreasing crime.”
Repeated attempts to reach Mealy to get her views on community/police relations were unsuccessful. After much calling and emailing, a Mealy spokesperson said she had no comment because this event did not happen in her district.
While the Small shooting occurred close to Mealy’s council district, it did not occur in the confines of the district. It did, however, occur in the confines of the 55th Assembly District.
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