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Letter: Response to Bilal Ansari and DIRE

Bilal, I truly want to understand you. I truly want our community to be the best we can be. If I have not made clear my responses to any of your questions, please let us continue this conversation.

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Williamstown's Racial Equity Committee Discusses Core Principles

The Diversity, Inclusion and Racial Equity Committee on Monday discussed a statement of principles to guide the group's work as it seeks to work for justice in the college town of 7,700.

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Williamstown's DIRE Committee Raises Issue of Police at School

It is a topic that has been mentioned before in town and Mount Greylock Regional School District forums, but the comments at last week's DIRE Committee meeting were as strong as any to date in an official forum.

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Williamstown DIRE Committee Pushes for Transparency on Town, Police Issues

It also filed a few requests for public record, including the committee's second request for access to the town's personnel policies and procedures.

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Williamstown's DIRE Committee Talks About Need for Structural Change

A resident addressing the DIRE Committee during the public comment portion of its weekly virtual meeting suggested that the necessary discussions about the federal lawsuit filed against the town, police chief and town manager threatened to overshadow ongoing conversations that predate the legal action and led to the creation of the committee itself in June.

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Williamstown Residents Renew Call for Investigation of Police Department

The Select Board spent nearly two hours listening to some of the 70 people who dialed in to participate in the remote meeting, with many of those speaking calling for Police Chief Kyle Johnson and Town Manager Jason Hoch to be placed on administrative leave and an independent investigation to be launched.

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Williamstown's DIRE Committee Hears from Grassroots Groups

Two grassroots groups that predate the town's Diversity, Inclusion, Race and Equity Committee caught the panel up on their activities at Monday's meeting.

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Protesters March to Williamstown Police Station to Demand Reform

Lt. Mike Ziemba, who stood silently as multiple speakers harshly criticized the department and its leadership, took the lawn sign from Ansari and planted it in the ground.

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Williamstown DIRE Committee Focuses on Police Procedure, Town's Response to Suit

The conversation included DIRE Committee members' dissatisfaction with that response and a more general discussion of police practices in the town of 7,700.

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Williamstown DIRE Committee Calls for Inquiry of Police Allegations

The second resolution demands that the town hold an independent, third-party investigation to look at the allegations raised in a federal lawsuit filed by Sgt. Scott McGowan.

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