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Calling For Unity In Hazleton

HAZLETON — At a Hazleton city council meeting Thursday night, there was applause and praise for the city police department.

“I thank our police department. I thank them from the bottom of my heart,” said council member Joan Mope.

The city council met one day after investigators released a report on a deadly shooting.

They found a Hazleton city police officer was ‘justified’ in shooting and killing 26 year old Jonathan Garay earlier this month on Alter Street.

Police said Garay pointed a loaded weapon at police and was shot twice.

That shooting created controversy.

Family and friends marched on Hazleton City Hall, demanding justice for Jonathan and rumors of violence against police swirled.

“I had to come here today armed with a gun because all over Facebook people are saying there’s going to be riots, they don’t trust the police,” said Jonathan Saksek of Hazleton.

Those at the city council meeting said the city needs to unite, coming together to help the police and each other, to stop the violence.

“When is it going to stop? Are we going to wait until it involves children? Because it’s heading in that direction,” said resident Sylvia Thomas.

“I think our police department, with the number of men they have are doing a very good job and this nonsense with people protesting against them is ridiculous,” said Grace Cuozzo of Hazleton.



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