Calling For Unity In Hazleton

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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.

1 Comment

  • Cindy

    The police are not the problem. They aren’t trigger happy jerks waiting to “get” anyone. The problem, as I see it, is twofold. One, people coming here from the cities bring their (sometimes violent) culture with them, as do some people from other countries, who, in addition, might not know all the ” in’s and out’s” of this country. People have a perception that violence and physical means are the way to settle differences, today more than ever. Two, lots of people think police target certain people and are looking for a fight. I don’t believe that. Of course, people of color are accused of crime more often in the cities and areas where they are prevalent, because there are more people of color in those environments and many are crime-ridden areas. I’d like to see them deal with manipulative criminals day and night.
    These threats of violence against the officer for defending himself is just childish and disgusting.
    What needs to change is not good lawmen, (which are most cops) but society’s attitudes and beliefs and using violence as a way to settle differences. Until then, more such tragedies will happen. My sympathies go out to the police and the family who lost their loved one.

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