Black Lives Matter New Bedford Lists Top Three Issues
Monique Onuoha is a member of New Bedford's Black Lives Matter movement. While she says the group doesn't have a hierarchy, Monique "takes pride in teaching people to fight with love vs. hate."
Onuoha says that since people have been heading back to work as the Commonwealth begins to open, the group has decided to hold fewer, more coordinated, protests at key times that can draw the most people.
"We're working on a survey to help determine the best days and times that people are available," she said.
Maddie asked what Onuoha thought was the most common misconception about New Bedford's Black Lives Matter organization?
"We're not necessarily trying to defund the police, and it's not that we think all police are bad. We know that they are not all bad," Onuoha said. "We're trying to fix something that has been broken for centuries. We need to figure out ways to reallocate funds."
For example, she said she'd fully support the police getting the funding needed for body cameras.
"We support funding the police in general, but we want to support the right police," she said.
Onouha listed three items that are the most important to the New Bedford Black Lives Matter group.
1. Body cameras for police. Onouha agrees that body cameras for police are meant to protect police every bit as much as they are meant to protect the people with which police come into contact.
2. Name tags on New Bedford Police. Black Lives Matter organizers said that one of the first things Chief Joe Cordeiro promised the group is that officers would begin to wear their name tags, but that there are still officers working without them. When Fun 107 spoke to the chief three weeks ago, he told us that it would be a matter of time to get the name tags ordered and shipped to the police departments. Onouha said that wearing name tags helps humanize the police to the people in the city.
3. Malcolm Gracia's medical records. "The biggest thing that we're working on right now is getting the medical records from Rhode Island Hospital surrounding the situation with Malcolm Gracia," Onuoha said. Gracia is a 15-year-old that was killed in a police-involved shooting. "The mayor keeps saying he wants us to see all the sides, but we can't understand that if they're not willing to release those medical records. Successfully obtaining those records is what would make us the happiest."
Listen to Monique Onouha's interview with Michael and Maddie here: