October 26, 2020

‘Time for Reckoning’ on WMHT examines post-protest response

Airing Monday, special features activists’ demands, officials’ answers

Activist Jamaica Miles - shown at a July protest in Schenectady - is one of the panelists featured in
Activist Jamaica Miles — shown at a July protest in Schenectady — is one of the panelists featured in “The Time for Reckoning” airing at 9 p.m. Monday on WMHT. (Lori Van Buren/Times Union)Lori Van Buren/Albany Times Union

ALBANY — Featuring the voices of activists from the Black Lives Matter movement as well as prominent Albany officials, the hour-long special “The Time for Reckoning” airs at 9 p.m. Monday on WMHT Ch. 17.
The program features parallel panels discussing the issues of racial reconciliation and social justice in the context of the protests that followed the killing of George Floyd of Minneapolis, and touches on more local controversies such as the 2018 shooting of Ellazar Williams by police and the notorious raid on a First Street home in March 2019 that resulted in an officer being charged with felony assault.

In addition to sharing the views of local activists, the program includes responses from Mayor Kathy Sheehan, Common Council President Corey Ellis and Police Chief Eric Hawkins on matters ranging from the pace of police discipline to the relative worth of the city’s police review board. Times Union editor Casey Seiler moderates.
All three of the city officials are part of Albany’s ongoing Policing Reform and Reconciliation Collaborative, a broad effort to address many of the issues brought to light in recent months. Formed in response to Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo’s executive order requiring local communities to address systemic racism in law enforcement, the collaborative has an April deadline to produce proposals for local lawmakers to consider.
The program — a special edition of WMHT’s “New York Now” — is part of a larger symposium sponsored by Albany’s Center for Law and Justice and the New York State Writers Institute and other groups, with a mission to confront systemic racism, seek justice and reimagine society.
The community panel will have a follow-up online discussion held on the evening of Monday, Nov. 2 on the Facebook page of the All of Us social justice group.
Additional partners in “The Time for Reckoning” include the Justice Center of Rensselaer County, the Times Union, Amnesty International USA, the Community Foundation for the Greater Capital Region and the Sanctuary for Independent Media. The symposium was supported by the Steve McKee Foundation.

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