McClinton says Delco taskforce is critical in helping bridge divide between law enforcement and communities of color

Amid ongoing demand for racial equality and police reforms, state Rep. Joanna McClinton said she is proud to be part of the newly created Taskforce on Criminal Justice Reform in Delaware County and looks to use her role to bridge the divide between law enforcement and communities of color.  

"We must take action now to help stop targeted violence against our black and brown neighbors at the hands of police," said McClinton, D-Phila./Delaware. "Just this week, 1,000 young people at Penn Wood High School organized their very own protest to make sure everybody knows that their lives matter. They are concerned about whether or not they'll be the next Breonna Taylor or George Floyd. We have a responsibility to prevent that from ever happening and this taskforce is a step in the right direction."

McClinton joined Delaware County District Attorney Jack Stollsteimer and County Council, who are both spearheading this initiative, along with other community leaders Tuesday outside of the county courthouse in Media, to lay out details of the taskforce, which will include measures to strengthen accountability in the criminal justice system, as well as improve police-community relations. 

"I look forward to working with this diverse group to ensure we don't let this be a moment in time that passes," McClinton said. ""This must be a movement involving all of us that lets our young people know we hear their voices and that we're moving for change."

Other members of the taskforce include county Sheriff Jerry L. Sanders Jr.; the Fraternal Order of Police; the Delaware County Police Chiefs Association; the NAACP; the Delaware County Black Caucus; the Public Defender's Office; U.S. Rep. Mary Gay Scanlon, D-Swarthmore; and other community members.

"We have to work together to make sure that not just bills and legislation move but to make sure that the environment and culture in which policing has become militarized is changed," McClinton said. 

News of this taskforce came just a day after the Pennsylvania House Labor and Industry Committee passed a number of bills calling for critical police and criminal justice reforms.