1,000 signatures reached
To: Lancaster City Mayor Danene Sorace
End Police Brutality in Lancaster, PA!
In regards to the tasering of nonviolent civilian Sean Williams by Lancaster Police, we demand the following:
1. Immediately suspend the officers involved in the violent arrest
2. Coordinate a community meeting with concerned citizens to address violence by Lancaster police
3. Advocate for the formation of a Citizens Review Board for Police
Why is this important?
On Thursday, June 28, 2018, 27-year-old Sean Williams was tased in the back and arrested by a group of police officers in Lancaster, PA. In a video that now has gone viral, Sean is seen sitting on the sidewalk, calmly following instructions. He moves slowly in order to avoid startling the police officers. Sean is doing his best to do what he is told even when given conflicting instructions. In the video, one officer is heard instructing Sean to keep his legs out while another officer tells him to cross his legs. Suddenly, without warning, Officer Philip Bernot deploys his taser into Sean's back. Sean immediately collapses and begins writhing on the ground with arms and legs in the air. To make matters worse, the officer continues to give instructions while Sean is clearly incapacitated. Officer Bernot does not show any concern for this Black man's humanity.
The Lancaster Police Department defend their use of excessive force and maintain the fallacy that Sean did not comply with instructions. In a statement released within hours, officials stated that the taser was necessary in order to bring Sean into custody and claimed it prevented further use of force!
It seems no matter the circumstances Black people will always be seen as a threat. Sean was attacked completely unprovoked and while attempting to follow contradicting instructions. The Lancaster Police Department must hold all the officers involved responsible for their reckless, irresponsible, and violent behavior.