To the Editor:
In light of the recent murder of George Floyd in Minnesota and the nationwide protests fighting police brutality, the silence from the Chatham community is deafening.
As of today, Sunday, May 31st, neither the Chatham Borough or Chatham Township police departments, the School District of the Chathams nor the Mayors of the Township and the Borough have released a statement regarding these matters. Statements have been released by neighboring towns including Madison and New Providence. There was also a car processional and candlelight vigil honoring those lives lost to police brutality last night in Morristown. There were no summons or arrests as per the Morristown police department and the vigil remained socially distant.
Chatham is not immune nor are we above recognizing and fighting issues of police brutality and institutionalized racism. We must stand with Chatham residents as well as citizens of our nation who are victims of racism. We must openly and unapologetically support efforts to make our town and New Jersey a safer, fairer, and more welcoming place for people of color. In fact, New Jersey has one of the highest mass incarceration rates in the country with 1,992 Black residents of NJ out of every 100,000 incarcerated.
We urge the police departments, School District of the Chathams, and the Chatham mayors to release statements condemning the murder of George Floyd and police brutality. We urge them to pledge to combat bigotry and racism in the Chathams to ensure all residents feel safe, welcomed, and protected.
We also urge all Chatham residents to donate directly to organizations that help combat racism and police brutality. Specifically, the National Bailout Fund and, locally, the New Jersey Institute for Social Justice (both linked below). Also, please support the Morristown Chapter of Black Lives Matter.
Julia Contorno, Avery Rose Pedell, Katie Hyland, Danny Flynn, Natasha Greeve, Delfine Greeve, Andy McCabe, Kathryn Visco, Will Macchia, Matt Castello, Jess Pompeo and Alec Gonzalez
Statistic via: https://www.prisonpolicy.org/profiles/NJ.html