PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — Philadelphia Police Commissioner Charles Ramsey said that Black Lives Matter protesters should spend their efforts on other issues impacting black neighborhoods, rather than just focusing on negative interactions with police officers.
Ramsey told Rich Zeoli on Talk Radio 1210 WPHT that there are more pressing matters to occupy their time with.READ MORE: Fourth Stimulus Check: Is Another Relief Payment Coming Soon?
“Education, poverty, housing, these are legitimate issues that a movement like that could take on in addition to dealing with issues of police misconduct. We need to take a serious look at crime occurring in black communities, black on black crime is a problem. You can’t ignore it. If you want to talk about improving the quality of life, it’s not just about a life in terms of living or dying, it’s also about quality of life. You have to address these other issues and there’s an opportunity here, while you have the nation’s attention, to do that and I think it’s being squandered.”
He singled out education as a pathway out of poverty and suggested activists work to improve failing schools.READ MORE: Pennsylvania Gov. Wolf Calls On Lawmakers To Pass Fairness Act, Preventing Discrimination Based On Sexual Orientation, Gender
“We, at some point in time, have to sit down and have thoughtful discussion and deal with the drivers of crime. There aren’t too many people with master’s degrees standing on a corner selling crack. If we focus on education, then we start to deal with a lot of the issues that really effect, not only the black community, but poor communities in general, irrespective of the race of the individual that happens to be trapped in poverty. Usually, what you’ll find is one of the fundamental problems, when you’re dealing in the that particular area is poor educational institutions.”
Ramsey also expressed his opposition to a City Council proposal that would require the name of an officer involved in a shooting to be released immediately. He said the current protocol works and does not plan to change it.MORE NEWS: Open For Business: Manayunk Chambers Guest House In Manayunk Can Be Anyone's Home Sweet Home
“I’m not trying to put anyone in harm’s way. We are going to release names after 72 hours, but in the mean time, we do check social media and protests to see whether or not there’s any threats made to an officer or to the department in general. We work with officers to make sure they understand their social media footprint and how it could reveal sensitive information about them, perhaps they’re not aware of. We’ll offer up some protection if they need it. But the bottom line is this, if there’s a threat made to them or a member of the department, I will not release the name. Period. I just won’t do it.”