Protesters call on Providence City Council to act on proposed racial profiling ordinance

PROVIDENCE, R.I. — More than a hundred demonstrators packed the City Council chambers on Thursday to protest what they said has been City Council inaction on a 2014 profiling/police oversight ordinance, but city officials claimed that though the council hasn’t voted, progress has been made.

About 10 minutes before Thursday’s council meeting was to start, the demonstrators filed into the chamber, filling the room and taking the seats reserved for the council members.

Vanessa Flores Maldonado took the president’s spot and called for a vote on the Community Safety Act, as the proposed 2014 ordinance was titled. The other protesters called out the names of different council members and said they voted yes.

The crowd remained in the room for a few minutes and then, as smoothly as they’d entered, they left.

Flores Maldonado, campaign coordinator for the Providence Youth Student Movement, said the demonstration was meant to communicate the group's frustration that two years after the act was proposed, during the Angel Taveras administration, it had not gotten a hearing or vote.

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