Brookline community discusses racial discrimination in the police force


Maya Morris/Sagamore Staff

Members of the Brookline community, including people who participated in public comment, talk amongst themselves before the meeting begins. The discussion lasted for approximately two hours with 33 speakers.

Bertina Xue, Arts Layout Editor

The room was packed at a meeting held at Town Hall on Jan. 5, 2016 at 7 p.m. Over 40 people signed up to speak in response to Officers Prentice Pilot and Estifanos Zerai-Misgun of the Brookline Police Department’s claims that they encountered racial discrimination within the police force and that they do not feel safe. According to the Brookline Tab, on Dec. 22, 2015, a meeting was held but the citizens wanting to speak were not recognized by the town’s selectmen because they did not sign up for public comment in time.

In the opening statement of the Jan. 5 meeting, Selectman Chairman Neil Wishinsky stated that the purpose of the meeting was to listen to what the public had to say and that there would be no decision made at this meeting. Out of the 33 people who spoke at the meeting, two people spoke in defense of the BPD and Brookline Police Chief Daniel O’Leary’s handling of Pilot and Zerai-Misgun’s situation. The rest of the speakers criticized the BPD and spoke about their own personal experiences with discrimination.

Check back in for more in-depth coverage of this meeting soon.