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Police Critics After Worcester Board of Health Chairman for Reluctance To Discuss Allegations of Police Racism

October 30, 2020

Critics of purported racism in the Worcester Police Department want the chairman of the Worcester Board of Health to resign because she is reluctant to take public criticisms of local police during board meetings.

The Worcester branch of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People is calling for Edith Claros to resign from the city’s board of health, which ordinarily oversees septic systems, restaurant inspections, safety violations, and emergencies related to diseases, among other matters.

But critics are using a declaration that purported police bias and racism is a public health crisis to argue that the city’s board of health should respond to it, according to MassLive.com.

Yet a city health department official sent an email message in August suggesting that the board chairman “is not interested in a PD berating” similar to what has occurred at Worcester City Council meetings, according to MassLive.com.

Activists are also upset about a comment Worcester’s police chief, Steven Sargent, made in August. He said, according to MassLive.com, that he has not “personally witnessed acts of racism by Worcester police officers.”

David Fort, a member of the board of health who wants the board to take up institutional racism, said he finds the police chief’s comment shocking.

“It’s insane,” Fort told MassLive.com. “It’s like saying there’s no sexism.”

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