Robust turnout at the PLBC’s Know Your Rights Symposium

PHILADELPHIA, April 17 – State Rep. Vanessa Lowery Brown, D-Phila., chairwoman of the Pennsylvania Legislative Black Caucus, was thrilled with the turnout at the PLBC's second regional Know Your Rights Symposium held Thursday, April 16.

More than 100 people attended the Philadelphia event, an occasion that provided the local community with an interactive opportunity to constructively discuss the subjects of basic legal rights and community/police relations.

In addition to Brown, those who attended included PLBC members and state Reps. Louise Williams Bishop, D-Phila., and Ronald Waters, D-Phila.

The centerpiece of the event was the evening’s panel discussion, which was comprised of local representatives from the law enforcement community, community-based organizations and legal/criminal defense fields. They included:

• Lt. Beverly Pembrook, 16th Police District;
• Nena Carter, Philadelphia Public Defenders Office;
• Michael Coard, attorney and activist;
• The Rev. Rodney Muhammad, president, Philadelphia NAACP;
• Leon Goodman, attorney;
• Debra Watson Stokes, Philadelphia District Attorney’s Office;
• Ronald G. Waters, state representative, 191st Legislative District; and
• Joy Soto, Philadelphia Mayor’s Office, executive director of the Philadelphia Youth Commission.

"We have all heard the horror stories about violence occurring between police and members of various communities," Brown said. "Many incidents have arisen from the lack of understanding between the law enforcement community and those they are sworn to protect."

The PLBC previously held a similar symposium in Harrisburg and is also planning events for Pittsburgh and Chester.

"The PLBC aims to offer advice and support to all Pennsylvania residents who believe their rights are not adequately being protected," Brown said.

Citizens with questions or concerns about their rights are urged to contact the PLBC at (717) 772-6955.