Abdulaziz offers his view on police response

BRANDON — A Black man who was ordered by Middlebury police to “raise his hands” after an erroneous report that he had been detaining a woman at gunpoint off Mary Hogan Drive is now talking about the incident. Bashiru Abdulaziz, a 38-year-old man who lives in Brandon, believes witnesses and authorities in the case last week failed to give him the benefit of the doubt because he is Black. As reported in the June 25 edition of the Independent, Abdulaziz was approached by two Middlebury police officers and a po … (read more)

Police reform bill goes to Gov. Scott

The Vermont House approved police reform legislation Friday that requires all state police to wear body cameras, prohibits officers from using chokeholds and other similar restraint techniques, while also mandating that the Legislature pass additional cri … (read more)

Ways of Seeing: Event was for BLM, not police

In early June, a group of friends and I organized a vigil on the Bristol green to honor the life of George Floyd and raise awareness about police brutality. The aim was to connect people with resources for antiracist self-education and action, and encoura … (read more)

‘Defund the police’ arrives in Middlebury

MIDDLEBURY — More than a dozen people have asked officials here to redirect the Middlebury Police Department’s voter-approved $46,234 budget increase for fiscal year 2021, and to begin looking at ways to “defund” the MPD. A national call for defunding pol … (read more)

Middlebury police confront Black man after erroneous report

MIDDLEBURY — An erroneous report alleging that a Black man had pulled a woman out of a car at gunpoint near Mary Hogan Elementary School on Monday, June 22, led Middlebury police to order the man to raise his hands and submit to a pat-down. The man at the … (read more)

City panel to study police advisory board

VERGENNES — An eight-member panel of Vergennes residents is working on a charge for a city Citizen Review Board that could be established within a month and make recommendations to City Manager Daniel Hofman on Vergennes police operations, policies and ac … (read more)

Editorial: Defund police? Yes, but let’s not confuse the stage

In principle, we’re in favor of the protests around the country calling to review and restrain police budgets that have been ramped up over the past decade or more as the nation has seemingly adopted a more militaristic approach to police work. The initia … (read more)

Letter to the editor: Bristol police should become townwide service

Here’s a question for everyone who lives in the Bristol Police District, who are on the hook for funding 90% of the town’s police budget: If there were a question on the ballot that, if approved, would dissolve the Bristol Police District — effectively el … (read more)

Letter to the editor: Police must be held accountable for lethal force

I am able to walk in my neighborhood. Rest in Peace Ezell Ford. I am able to play peacefully in the park. Rest in Peace Tamir Rice. I am able to go grocery shopping. Rest in Peace George Floyd. I am able to relax in my home. Rest in peace Breonna Taylor. … (read more)

Vergennes to form panel to oversee police department

VERGENNES — After hearing from about 20 residents on Tuesday, the Vergennes City Council took the first steps toward forming a citizen review board to work with and oversee the Vergennes Police Department.  The decision also followed a June 2 forum in whi … (read more)

Midd Police Chief Hanley: Rein in this culture of bigotry

“Black Lives Matter” — of course they do. But this is more than a slogan to be tucked away until yet another tragedy occurs, where we get a sense that in some minds black lives do not matter. And with that I condemn those rogue police officers who belie t … (read more)

Local officers to observe national law enforcement memorial Friday

This Friday, May 15, is National Peace Officers Memorial Day. Law enforcement officers from around the nation, and across Vermont, will join together in socially distanced spirit in remembrance of officers who have died in the line of duty. Each year an a … (read more)

Law enforcement to target businesses and individuals who don’t practice social distancing

MONTPELIER — Vermont Attorney General T.J. Donovan late on Thursday announced his office would be working with Vermont State Police and local police and sheriff’s departments to enforce Gov. Phil Scott’s March 13 social-distancing order. According to Dono … (read more)

Bruised feelings, debate follow alderman’s email to city police chief

VERGENNES — At a tense 40-minute personnel discussion at the Vergennes City Council last week, councilors talked at length about a Dec. 11 email sent by Alderman Mark Koenig to Police Chief George Merkel and its aftermath. Later last week Koenig acknowled … (read more)

Police cite Bristol man whom they shot

BRISTOL — A Bristol man who was shot by state troopers last month during a confrontation outside his home has been cited for multiple offenses.  Greg West, 28, was cited for two counts of aggravated assault, two counts of reckless endangerment and one cou … (read more)