“The colonists have arrived and we have an occupying army enforcing the rules,” he said.
Lanier said newcomers to the area are misinterpreting everyday scenarios as crimes, like reporting drug deals when they see young black men standing on a corner.
“You have a lot of people here who haven’t lived in an urban neighborhood who are calling police for a lot of new things,” she said at the meeting held at J.O. Wilson Elementary School.
Johnson agreed with that assessment.
“A couple of guys walk through an alley like they’ve done their whole lives, and the newly arrived neighbors think something untoward is happening,” he said.
Lanier said officers will reduce unnecessary stops by getting to know residents one by one, and by getting more officers out of patrol cars and onto bikes and Segways.
“The officers should know who lives in the neighborhood,” she said. “You see a car window open when it’s raining and you know whose door to knock on … That’s what a beat officer is.”
Brown defended police and said officers make stops based on information reported to them about suspects.