Busloads of activists from western Massachusetts are headed to New York City this weekend to join a protest sparked by the recent grand jury decisions in the killings of two unarmed black men by police. In Springfield, Bishop Talbert Swan, head of the local NAACP, has said, and continued to say this week, that the city has the conditions to become another Ferguson.
After Michael Brown was killed in Ferguson in August, Swan asked Springfield Mayor Domenic Sarno to create a commission to look at issues of police-community relations. The mayor responded that the city already has several task forces in place. Swan says that misstates the issue, and says the current police review board is insufficient.
We’ve requested interviews with Springfield’s mayor and police commissioner.
To hear my conversation with Bishop Swan, click on the audio player above.