On Tuesday night, Kingston Mayor Steve Noble released a statement acknowledging there was a disproportionate number of people of color who felt fearful in the city. He listed steps to try and rectify that, and among other things, Noble said that all uses of force by police officers will be reviewed by the police commission regardless of whether a complaint was filed.
Spectrum News spoke with Citizen Action of the Hudson Valley Lead Organizer Callie Jayne about the policy change.
"The people of the community were able to move our mayor along on something that he was very against changing, and that is the power of the people," Jayne said.
This comes after residents packed the 11th police forum at New Progressive Baptist Church Monday, demanding change after video was recently released of former Kingston resident Fabian Marshall, being put in a chokehold by a Kingston police officer in 2015.
Jayne said while she is happy about the changes, she is hoping the new policy will lead to action.
"They can investigate things, but we have seen cases where the police commission has not found that the police have not violated any policy and procedures," she said. "And while the investigations are going to be great, what comes out of those investigations is very important."
Jayne added she would like to see investigations being conducted by a review board not appointed by the mayor.
Marshall, the man shown in the video, was not available for comment due to his work schedule, but Spectrum News spoke with his mother Liz Baker. She said while she appreciates what the mayor has done, she too wants to see other steps being taken.
She said that includes firing Police Chief Egidio Tinti.
"This has been going on for years and nothing's been done. Why is that?" Baker asked. "If you supervise or manage a crew, your crew is only going to do what they’re allowed to do."
Spectrum News reached out to the mayor, but he was unavailable for further comment. Tinti was also contacted, but has yet to respond.