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Protestors say mayor isn't listening; his office disagrees

Updated: 06/03/2014 5:21 PM | Created: 06/03/2014 5:20 PM
By: Erica Zucco, KOB Eyewitness News 4

Monday night's protests inside a secure portion of Mayor Richard Berry's office led to twelve arrests for criminal trespass and one for battery on an officer. That suspect, David Correia, plans to plead not guilty. Protestors wanted face-time with the mayor.

"We tried to see the mayor and we had letters, each one of us had a letter because we've tried various avenues to have the mayor listen to us and they've just been ignoring us," said Ilse Biel, a protestor arrested for criminal trespass.

Berry's office says he's been at a conference in New York since Monday. They said that because he is presenting at the conference, he is not available for interviews. In response to questions about how constituents can get a meeting with the mayor, a spokesperson sent us the following:

"The Mayor is still in New York, and isn't available for a phone interview, as he is presenting today at the conference. The Mayor has met with innumerable community leaders and stakeholders about APD over the last several months. I think it's important to note that there are multiple opportunities for community members and protestors to voice their opinions and have a solution-based conversation, such as:

-Community Policing Council- applications are currently being accepted (I believe you all attended the news conference last Friday)
-The DOJ facilitated Community Meetings
-Public Comment during City Council meetings
-Of course the on-going community meetings with the Mayor"

Because of safety concerns and precautions related to the Open Meetings Act, the city council meeting scheduled for Monday was pushed to June 9. Councilors were supposed to talk about Police Oversight Commission reforms, one of the very things protestors have been asking for, but it will have to wait another week.

At the rescheduled city council meeting, no general public comment will be taken. That is a temporary rule generally put in place for special meetings; city council is still weighing permanent rules for comment at meetings.


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