2 resign from Potsdam police reform panel

Potsdam’s Black Lives Matter group, led by Jennifer Baxtron, has held regular events in the village this year since the death of George Floyd. Christopher Lenney/Watertown Daily Times

POTSDAM — Two individuals, the only Black members of Potsdam’s Police Reform Advisory Committee, have resigned after frustrations that the group is not focusing enough on addressing racial injustice.

Jennifer Baxtron announced last week in a Facebook post that she was frustrated Potsdam Police Chief Mark R. Murray did not say the department had a problem with racism, likely stemming from a discussion at the police reform group’s last meeting.

“When the police chief refuses to admit that these problems do exist in his department and refuses to make a public statement condemning it, it’s time for me to move on to the next level. I will continue working with the public on the issues of systemic racism, racism in the communities and what you must do to confront and change it,” Ms. Baxtron wrote on Facebook.

“I can no longer work on the local level in regards to police reform, so on that note, time to concentrate on the state level only,” she continued.

During the exchange, Mr. Murray did not want to make what he called a “blanket statement” and told Ms. Baxtron he was confused as to what he was exactly addressing.

John D. Youngblood could not immediately be reached for comment, but North Country Public Radio has reported he’s also stepping down.

The police reform group has been meeting about every other week since October in accordance with Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo’s executive order requiring all police departments to review policies, deployments and procedures. The order was made in the wake of calls for racial justice, especially in policing, over the summer following the death of Minneapolis man George Floyd at the hands of Minneapolis police.

Discussions among Potsdam’s police reform committee have expanded into a wide array of topics about mental health care, racial bias, public communication with police and the murder of Garrett Phillips.

Those discussions have, at times, gotten heated, but it’s unclear what tangible recommendations or concrete ideas the group has actually put to paper at this point.

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(11) comments

JohnMcElroy

I keep noticing 2 posters Robbins and "thrush" have smart mouths and get away with it. I got iron skin they can't bother me but they attack everyone they disagree with. Oy vey.

KRobbins

I keep noticing 2 posters Robbins and "thrush" have smart mouths and get away with it.

You put up a comment that Biden/Harris are giving a million dollars to every Black person in the country and then when you’re called to justify that you’re sensitive about it but you still don’t defend it.

I didn’t attack you. I questioned where you got that “information” and you of course didn’t tell me. If you had “iron skin” you wouldn’t be complaining you’d be defending your other response.

KRobbins

If my smart mouth makes a claim in a comment then I’m willing to defend it and if I can’t then I’ll admit that I can’t.

JohnMcElroy

insert the word posthumosly pardonned Jack Johnson

Holmes

Hmmm, reform? Appears to be the usual suspects behind the push to paint violent, career criminals as some sort of group worthy of sympathy. They won’t be happy until the prison doors are opened and return career criminals back into the streets. The biggest injustice is that the victims rights advocacy groups have been shut out. That’s the injustice...

JohnMcElroy

The George Floyd incident was unfortunate but did not happen in northern New York. I don't believe there is a racist bone in any cop on any police department in northern New York. Assist your police in drug investigations we do have a big problem with drugs in our area of the state. Support your local police they are there for you.

Hoosier

John, you are dead wrong. Maybe you are not black or have any black friends, but I have noticed a huge problem with police in the north country and their views of minority persons. I have been privy to 58 arrests related to minorities in NNY, and 58 dismissals. Racism is alive and well, and wears a badge. Justice is not blind, but can be persuaded by logic.

JohnMcElroy

Turn the coin over. President Trump just pardonned black boxer Charles "Duke" Tanner imprisoned for life for possessing 5 kilos of cocaine, never been in trouble before. President Trump previously posthumosly, Jack Johnson another black boxer who was a heavy weight champion. Look around you will see many blacks getting better treatment. Biden and Harris are going to try and get a reparations bill through congress that will once and for all settle the racist thing. Word is each black in America will receive 1 million dollars for past racism pushed through by Biden/Harris. A lot depends on Georgia of course.

hermit thrush

you just have to shake your head at the wild fantasies in john mcelroy's head. a reparations bill??? when is john taking this comedy show on the road?

KRobbins

Biden and Harris are going to try and get a reparations bill through congress that will once and for all settle the racist thing. Word is each black in America will receive 1 million dollars for past racism pushed through by Biden/Harris.

I tried to find anything that resembled this nonsense. The only thing I saw was on RT. Is that where you get the “word?” At a Russian propaganda outlet?

KRobbins

Word is each black in America will receive 1 million dollars for past racism pushed through by Biden/Harris.

How does that work for someone like Obama who had a Black father and White mother? Does he only get a half million?

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