Watterman, Braker feud at community meeting over foot patrols


Emotions ran high at Calvary Christian Methodist Episcopal Church during a meeting designed to “diffuse tension between the police department and the community.”

Jersey City residents congregated at the Calvary Christian Methodist Episcopal Church on Tuesday, July 29th, for a meeting to “diffuse tension between the police department and the community.”

The agenda, which sparked intense debate between those in attendance, centered around the formation of a community group, police sensitivity training in regards to black culture, problems within the black community and how best to address them in the short-and-long-term.

Minister Phillip Webb, a former Jersey City police officer who hosted the meeting, voiced his disagreement with Mayor Fulop’s new anti-crime initiative in helping to ease the tension between the community and police.

Later in the meeting, tensions between Councilwoman-at-large Joyce Watterman and Jersey City NAACP President William Braker surfaced over the issue of community based policing and foot patrols.

Minutes later Elizabeth “Alajwanje” Perry, a community activist, spoke about the need for a civilian review board, especially in light of the fatal police shooting of unarmed 20-year-old Lavon King. Braker responded to Perry citing a board setup by Mayor Fulop, but was immediately rebuked by businessman and political activist Bruce Alston.

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