Wednesday, July 14, 2010


"We are saddened and troubled to hear that Sgt. Bryan Bangs' home has been badly damaged by fire, and are grateful that he is alive. We extend our sympathy to him and his family. If this was arson or precipitated by criminal motives, we strongly condemn this abhorrent violence against Sgt. Bangs.

"We understand the need for a thorough investigation into the cause of the fire and we expect and encourage that it will be conducted in a respectful and professional way and ask that people cooperate fully. We also expect the investigation to not indiscriminately target any one group of people.

"We continue to strongly urge the community to engage in calm, thoughtful conversation and peaceful work for improvements in police community relations."

Written on behalf of all the members of Community Leaders of Color (CLOC), Pastor Ronald Benson, Laura Branca, Gino Bush, J.R. Clairborne, Leslyn McBean-Clairborne, Audrey J. Cooper, Marcia J. Fort, Jemila Sequeira, Ricardo Williams, Pastor Nathaniel Wright

Saturday, July 10, 2010

CLOC Press Statement

On the evening of February 23, a Community Narcotics Enforcement Taskforce (CNET) sting operation at Pete’s grocery went terribly wrong, resulting in the shooting death of Shawn Greenwood by Sgt. Bryan Bangs of the Ithaca Police Department. This tragedy has been painful and difficult for the people of Ithaca, and our wishes for peace and healing go out especially to the Greenwood family, Sgt. Bangs and his family, the Ithaca Police Department, and all who have been deeply affected by the events that occurred that night.

Because Shawn was an African American man and Sgt. Bangs is a White police officer, this event has had the potential to deepen the wounds and rifts caused by our shared legacy of racism. Anticipating the distress that this crisis would cause–particularly in the African American community–Mayor Peterson reached out to a number of community leaders of color the night of the incident, for insight, advice, to keep channels of communication open with members of the Black community, and to find ways to help the community at large.

Since then, this group has grown in size and scope. We continue to press for open and transparent reviews of the CNET operation and what occurred at Cayuga Medical Center that night. We also think it is critical to see this terrible event as an opportunity to address, once and for all, some of the underlying problems facing this community with respect to racism and racial equity.

Special prosecutor District Attorney Wetmore has led an investigation into whether or not the use of lethal force was justified. The evidence was presented to a grand jury which has returned its judgment that there is insufficient evidence for a criminal indictment of Sgt. Bangs.

We want to remind everyone in the community that regardless of how strongly you feel about the fairness of the grand jury’s decision, there are many others who feel the opposite just as strongly, and that for those who may feel that justice has been done, there are many who feel outrage that there has been no justice. As a community, today we are as vulnerable to being polarized as we were in the first hours and days following the shooting itself.

As community leaders, we feel a serious responsibility to take action at the closing of this particular chapter in our collective story to help our entire community heal, change, and become the progressive place it professes to be but so often falls short of.

Rather, we call upon everyone in this community to join us in facing this challenge. We call upon our school leaders to be particularly sensitive and wise with young people whose wounds may be freshly opened today.

We call upon business leaders and elected officials to give real meaning to your declarations of shared values and to put your diversity and equity goals into action. The time is now.

We want our police officers to know that we notice, appreciate, and support your efforts to keep the city safe and to establish respectful relationships with people in communities of color. We pledge our support to those efforts.

There is still a ways to go, and we call upon everyone to get involved in making a positive and lasting difference for our city.

For information about what we’re working on, about the status of the future investigations and reviews of the events of February 23, go to You can also find information there as it develops about how you can get involved and make a difference.


Reverend Nathaniel Wright

JR Clairborne

Kirby Edmonds

Written on behalf of Community Leaders of Color (CLOC)


Tuesday, June 15, 2010


Here Are Some Key Points for the community Regarding the Investigation of the Incident at Pete’s Grocery on February 23, 2010.

Investigation of Use of Deadly Force:

1. DA Wetmore, from Chemung County, has been appointed as special prosecutor to conduct this investigation.

2. His investigation concerns only the question of whether or not the use of
deadly force was justified given the officer’s perception of the situation. He will
be investigating the CNET operation itself,
nor anything that occurred at Cayuga
Medical Center.

3. If the DA finds that there is insufficient evidence to send to a grand jury, the investigation ends there. The only evidence that the public may receive in this case would be in any report that the DA chooses to make public. It is not likely that there would be much detail in such a report about the nature of the evidence.

4. If the DA chooses to present evidence to a grand jury, this does not necessarily mean that the DA has determined that there is enough evidence for an indictment. It only means that the DA has decided that a grand jury should make this decision.

5. A grand jury has 23 members. These are community members chosen at random. A grand jury is seated for several weeks at a time and hears evidence in any cases involving possible felony charges. At least 16 of the 23 must be present for the grand jury to hear evidence and make a determination.

6. If a grand jury does hear the evidence presented by the DA they can:

vote a “no bill” which means that 12 or more jurors have determined that there is not sufficient evidence for an indictment,


12 members can vote to indict which means that they believe there is sufficient that I crime may have occurred to send the case to trial.

7. In either case, the grand jury’s proceedings are sealed and the public does not have access to any of the evidence presented to the grand jury. Nor will the public know what the vote was on a no bill or indictment. The only exception is that any witnesses who appear before the grand jury can legally report on their own testimony if they want to.

8. If there is a vote to indict, then the case would move to trial. In this case, DA Wetmore would continue to prosecute the case and the traial proceedings are public information. It is also important to remember that an indictment does not mean guilt. It only means that there is enough evidence for a criminal trial. The trial proceedings would determine innocence or guilt.

9. This all means that the public will only get access to the details of the evidence presented during this investigation if there is a grand jury indictment.

10. There is a grand jury in session in session now through the first week of June.

11. The location, time and dates that the grand jury is actually in session (i.e. hearing evidence) is kept secret to protect members of the grand jury, victims,witnesses and the subjects of any investigation.

12. If DA Wetmore decides to send evidence to a grand jury, the case could to the current grand jury. Otherwise it would go to the next grand jury which will be seated later in June.

13. Though the grand jury hearing is sealed, after a grand jury has made a
decision members of public might hear the results of a decision through a
press announcement from the DA. This announcement would not detail the
evidence. (Remember, grand jury proceedings are sealed.)

14. If the grand jury decides no charges are warranted they could release a report related to their findings. However, this report would not detail the evidence that was presented.

Conclusion: The only way DA Wetmore’s investigation will result in public access to the evidence is if the case goes to trial.

Wrongful death civil action:

1. If the Greenwood family decides to pursue a wrongful death civil action,
these proceedings would include the entire CNET operation and possibly
what occurred at Cayuga Medical Center regarding Shawn’s death.

2. This could involve civil court proceedings, in which case any evidence
presented would be public information.

3. If a wrongful death civil action resulted in a settlement out of court, it is unlikely that the public would have access to any of the evidence regarding the shooting itself, the CNET action or what occurred at Cayuga Medical Center.

Conclusion: The only way a civil action will result in public access to the evidence is if it goes to trial.

Ithaca Police Department’s After Action Review:

1.The IPD will conduct an internal “after action review” of what happened on February 23 to determine what went wrong, why it went wrong and what the IPd might be able to do in a future situation to avoid a similar outcome.

2.This review will occur after any criminal proceedings have been concluded (i.e. either after a grand jury “no bill” decision or after a trial has been completed in the event of a grand jury indictment).

3. Because this is an internal review, it is not clear what information the IPD would release to the public.

Overall conclusion: Members of the community should understand that there may never be public access to the evidence regarding the shooting and death of Shawn Greenwood collected by the special prosecutor, reviewed by a grand jury, regarding any civil proceedings or included in an official IPD after action review.

It is possible that the Freedom of Information Law (FOIL) may provide public access to IPD’s “after action review” or any CNET review.

It is also possible that the Mayor will require public access to the IPD’s after action review.

Wednesday, June 9, 2010


Are you interested in learning about an exciting training opportunity sponsored by Corning Incorporated Project UPWARD.

In an effort to train and place entry level technical talent in Corning Incorporated Technology Community, a program was piloted from 2008-2010 to provide paid training (through full time enrollment in Corning Community College Chemical Technology program) to individuals with the end goal being to place them in technician roles. The 2 year pilot program wrapped up recently with 100% of the participants completing their Associates degrees and being placed in full time, technician roles with Corning Incorporated.

The selection process for Cycle 2 of the program begins with four information/resume submission sessions (Note: candidates must attend at least one of the sessions to be eligible to move forward in the selection process). The information/resume submission session schedule is:

Tuesday, June 8th: 12-1PM in the 21st Century Room at Corning Headquarters and 7-8PM in the Cohocton Room at the Corning Radisson

Monday, June 14th: 12-1PM in the 19th Century Room at Corning Headquarters and 7-8PM in the Cohocton Room at the Corning Radisson

In addition to attending one of the aforementioned sessions, candidates must complete Corning Community College assessments, apply for admission to the college and be accepted into the Chemical Technology program. Once accepted into the Chem Tech program, candidates will be invited to interview for placement in the Cycle 2 cohort.

Interested in learning more about this opportunity? Plan to attend one of the sessions coming up on June 8th and June 14th (remember to bring your updated resume!). Be sure to send me an email message indicating which session you would like to attend. The address is

Know someone who might be interested in this paid training program? You are welcome to share this announcement with them and invite them to send me an email indicating which one of the sessions theyd like to attend (again, with their current resume).
Mark D. Vaughn, Ph.D.

"Worrying doesn't empty tomorrow of its troubles. It empties today of its strength."
Dr. Mark D. Vaughn
Manager -Technical Talent Pipelining for the Technology Community
SP-FR-02-10, Corning Incorporated, Corning, NY 14831
Office: (607) 974-9483 Mobile: (607) 329-4797 Fax: (607) 974-7765
On the 9th of March 2010 in Ithaca, NY there was a public forum to address the questionable shooting death of Shawn Greenwood. At the forum community members came together to ask questions of the Mayor, DA and Police Chief. Many questions were posed and some went unanswered here is a follow/up to some of the questions.

Attached is a PDF of the April City of Ithaca Community Newsletter with the Mayor's responses so far to some of the questions (primarily about CNET) raised at the first community forum. The newsletter is also available on the City of Ithaca website by going to then clicking on "news" and then clicking on " community newsletter".

Here's a direct link:{36F5C077-C105-4305-8538-321DC13B1180}
Hi folks-

As an FYI, OAR's Deborah Dietrich and Valerie Sykes were on All Things Equal this morning.

In recent weeks, Jeff Claus and Cal Walker were on to talk about local race relations, and Laura Branca and Kirtrina Baxter guested and discussed community employment and diversity. Those shows are on the podcast list, too.

In the coming weeks, scheduled guests include Common Council member J.R. Clairborne (June 22) and Diane Bradac from Tompkins Workforce New York (June 29)

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Under construction please check back.