Naweza Muderhwa works for the Association of Africans Living in Vermont and says she's heard numerous reports of racial profiling.
"It's just-- there is a lot of profiling; people being stopped for no reason, being followed, just things like that," says Muderhwa.
Muderhwa is also one of the people who will be testifying in front of the Vermont Advisory Committee on the issue of racism in this state. The Association of Africans living in Vermont estimates there are nearly 2,000 people of African origin living in Chittenden County. Some of them have come forward with reports of discrimination and the Advisory Committee hopes this ongoing discussion will help educate authorities about the issue.
Muderhwa is from the Congo. She plans to relate her own experience-- when her 4-year-old brother was called a racial slur by another child, he retaliated by shoving his offender. Muderhwa says the Burlington police were called but did nothing to help the situation.
"She told us, 'you live in a white state. You have to deal with it,'" says Muderhwa. "It changed the way I saw things."
The Committee has partnered with police in Chittenden County, asking them to record the race of every individual they stop. In this way, they hope to discover if there is any truth to claims of racial profiling.
But Muderhwa believes the best way to heal any perceived rift is to invite police into the African community-- made of people from Somalia, Ethiopia and other parts of the continent.
"Get to socialize with people, go in the community, talk to people, get to know them more. And most of the people here are new, we're from a different culture-- get to know our culture," she says.
A knowledge that may build a greater level of trust.
Friday, May 24 2013 12:44 PM EDT2013-05-24 16:44:50 GMT
Heavy rains have caused more flooding problems around our region, and the situation could get worse as the rain continues to fall over the holiday weekend. So far, the impact has mainly been seen in roadMore >>
Heavy rains have caused more flooding problems around our region, and the situation could get worse as the rain continues to fall over the holiday weekend.More >>
Friday, May 24 2013 9:51 AM EDT2013-05-24 13:51:55 GMT
Over the river and throught the woods isn't just the way to grandma's house, its the way a lot of people are having to travel just to make it to their front door. Dormant brooks and sleepy streams turnedMore >>
Strong rains Thursday flooded roads in Essex.More >>
Friday, May 24 2013 4:14 PM EDT2013-05-24 20:14:58 GMT
Vermont State Police say the following roads have been closed due to flooding:UNDERHILL: VERMONT ROUTE 15, CILLEYHILL POKER HILL ROAD NORTH UNDERHILL STATION ROAD PAIGE ROAD DAUDLIN ROAD BROWNS TRACE,More >>
Friday, May 24 2013 12:48 PM EDT2013-05-24 16:48:57 GMT
The heavy rains have left a lot of people with flooded basements. We want to remind people of potential dangers before tackling that mess. First, shut off power to all basement appliances. Don't touchMore >>
The heavy rains have left a lot of people with flooded basements. We want to remind people of potential dangers before tackling that mess.More >>
Friday, May 24 2013 9:55 AM EDT2013-05-24 13:55:28 GMT
Four people behind bars this morning, charged with kidnapping and burglary. Brattleboro police say just before 1 p.m. Thursday, a group of people forced two women into a car at gunpoint. Police caughtMore >>
Four people behind bars, charged with kidnapping and burglary.More >>
Friday, May 24 2013 9:58 AM EDT2013-05-24 13:58:10 GMT
A Massachusetts man is dead after an ATV crash in Concord. Police say just before 10 p.m. Thursday night, 42-year-old Frank Baker Junior was driving an ATV off of Leonard Hill Road when he lost controlMore >>
A Massachusetts man is dead after an ATV crash in Concord, Vt. More >>
Friday, May 24 2013 12:49 PM EDT2013-05-24 16:49:53 GMT
It's getting more expensive to take out the trash in Chittenden County. The Chittenden Solid Waste District announced this week that it is raising tipping fees by 22 percent to make up for declining revenues. TheMore >>
It's getting more expensive to take out the trash in Chittenden County.More >>