Allegations of Police Brutality Lead to Meeting in Dover - WBOC-TV 16, Delmarvas News Leader, FOX 21 -

Allegations of Police Brutality Lead to Meeting in Dover


DOVER, Del. (WBOC) - Dover city leaders met Monday with people from the African-American community. It's a discussion that was the result of allegations of police brutality.

Last week friends and family of Antonio Barlow marched through Dover to protest the way Barlow says he was treated during an arrested September 11. He says police tazed and then beat him.

Dover PD has disputed his story. The department says surveillance video proves its version of events - that there was no brutality. But Chief Jim Hosfelt has refused to release that video.

People who came to Monday's meeting say Dover PD is responsible for many more instances of misconduct than just the one Barlow alleges.

The department doesn't agree with that assertion either.

More than a dozen people from Dover's African-American community came to the meeting, among them Antonio Barlow and his family, including his sister Deatres.

"It helped me out a lot to know - though I was getting mad at first - that they're trying to work with us," she said. "I just want to see some things done and some things changed."

It was certainly a tense meeting at times. The disagreement between the Barlows and the police over the events of the night of September 11 continued. Deatres says that was frustrating.

Discussion went far past that incident to some involving people around the table.     

"There's a pattern here," said Eshed Alston. "Nobody is talking about the pattern. That's what I'm here for - to let you know there's a pattern. This is not the first instance of this taking place."

Tension in the room ebbed and flowed. But eventually there was some agreement that a task force might be useful to address concerns on both sides.

Chief Hosfelt says the key is to keep talking.

"I think we'll be better off if we do this on a routine basis, not just when somebody thinks something is controversial or is a hot-button issue with the public."

He says the community has to buy into whatever comes of this, like a task force or commission.

"I'd like to explore those a little more," said Bishop GE Gordon, from My Brethren Ministries. "I'd like to see us doing more in our community to the stop the trend, the tide of illegal activities."

And there's still a lot of skepticism if that task force could have any real impact.

"I don't know if it will, to be honest with you," said Hosfelt.

"I have a wait and see attitude," Alston said. "The city makes a lot of promises they haven't kept in the past."

"We just have to start working with each other, have some kind of understanding," said Deatres.

As for the situation with Antonio Barlow, he still faces a number of charges. And there continues to be talk of potential legal action in the other direction - against Dover PD - for the alleged brutality.

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