Statement from Council President Sabina Matos Regarding the Tragic Incident of Jhamal Gonsalves

Jan 7, 2021 | 0 comments

As a mother, my heart aches for Jhamal, his family, and his friends, as they continue the healing process – both physically and emotionally. I ask that we give him and his family the space and peace they need to heal. As an elected official, my heart aches for our community, we experience tragedy much to often, and as we know, the results of these tragedies last for generations.
These incidents are so complex and filled with such painful emotions. I am grateful to the Attorney General and his team, as well as the State Police for bringing the resources needed to assist with this thorough investigation. And I am grateful to Chief Clements and the Providence Police for understanding the emotion surrounding this tragic incident and the need to get it right and strengthen their policies. I encourage the Chief and the Public Safety Commissioner to take the time needed to review the next phase of this incident and to use the resources and partnerships they have to make any changes needed to ensure the public and our officers’ safety.
I am committed to finding solutions to the challenges of policing in our City. Regardless of the incidents, we need to actively deescalate inherently dangerous encounters in our communities so families and friends similar to Jhamal’s will not experience the pain they are enduring.
I am committed to working with my colleagues on the Council and in the City to strengthen current ordinances and enacting meaningful reforms that have one goal, keep us all safe. We are a city made up of neighborhoods and what affects one neighborhood affects all.
My request of you, is to continue to show compassion.
Sabina Matos
President-Providence City Council
Councilwoman-Ward 15
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