Accusations of racial profiling brought to Hamilton City Council

HAMILTON, OH (FOX19) - Members of the Dayton chapter of the Southern Christian Leadership Conference attended a meeting of the Hamilton City Council Wednesday night to confront city leaders on charges of racism within the police department.

On December 3rd, several minorities from the community shared their stories of unjust treatment and racial profiling by the Hamilton Police Department at a town hall meeting hosted by the SCLC.

Leaders with the SCLC and the local NAACP say because no city of Hamilton officials attended their town hall meeting to hear the concerns from minorities, they came to Wednesday night's Hamilton City Council meeting to address the council.

Their message is to stop what they call, "Harassment of our citizens by the Hamilton Police Department."

"We feel this is an ongoing problem, and we hope as we present our concerns to the council tonight, we can come to an agreement that we can both live with and stop this racial profiling," said Bishop Richard Cox, Dayton SCLC Chapter President.

Bishop Cox says two recent incidents have caused them to act. The first, a young black man, Tyree Johnson sent to prison for a crime many say he didn't commit.

The second incident allegedly happened just six weeks ago.

"In a court room, a police officer disrespected a senior citizen in this community and pushed her aside," said Gary Hines, President of the NAACP for Butler County.

Hamilton Mayor Pat Moeller says he was unaware of the alleged racial injustice in the community.

"I did not know about some of the issues that were discussed at that meeting," said Moeller. "I do understand there are some issues about traffic stops being the largest percentage. There is also a pending case to discuss which this is not the forum."

Mayor Moeller says he plans to work closely with these groups.

"I am more than happy to sit down and talk with anyone about what is perceived or what would have been observed issues in our city," said Moeller.

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