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Racial justice advocate resigns from Burlington Police Commission amidst protests

Published: Sep. 4, 2020 at 12:29 AM EDT|Updated: Sep. 4, 2020 at 9:05 AM EDT
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BURLINGTON, Vt. (WCAX) - Burlington racial justice activist Mark Hughes announced Thursday he is resigning from the Burlington Police Commission to protest the city’s refusal to meet protesters demands to fire three police officers accused of excessive force.

In his letter, Hughes writes “the statutory authority, delegated powers and design of the commission render it ineffective.” In short, the commission should have more power.

Downtown Burlington has been embroiled in protests over the past nine-days that were sparked by the officer-involved shooting of Jacob Blake in Wisconsin.

According to the letter, Hughes says the city should reconsider the demands of the protesters, including the firing of Burlington Ofcs. Jason Bellavance, Cory Campbell, and Joseph Corrow. The three officers were seen on body camera video using force on people in 2018 and 2019, leading to leading to two excessive force lawsuits.

City officials say the officers have already been cleared of those allegations and that reopening the cases won’t happen.

WCAX reached out to Hughes to talk about his resignation Thursday evening, but he declined an interview.

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