There’s a few people who can ask something of me and I’ll say yes without a long drawn out vetting process. Chester native and attorney Enrique Latoison is one of them. 

Enrique hosted a Town Hall Meeting last night at Mevo CAST Studios in downtown Chester. The event was a 2-hour panel discussion on the hot topics circulating around the county. On the panel were mostly people associated with law and justice, a TV news executive, a community activist, a weapons expert, a mental health professional, and me, the community journalist guy.

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Enrique Latoison

It didn’t take long before I realized I was out of my element as a panelist but enjoyed soaking in the depth of insight and knowledge shared by the experts in the areas of law and criminal justice which is far from my forte. 

The panelist discussed whether or not white protesters are participating because of ‘white guilt.’ We answered the question about George Floyd – Was he a martyr or victim? We talked about the destruction and removal of monuments. We got opinions on the impact looting has on the peaceful protests. And, we closed on police brutality. 

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Not everyone agreed with one another but there where no water bottles tossed, tables upended or chairs thrown across the room and it appeared everyone left the room with no hard feelings. 

The event was broadcasted on Facebook Live and I understand a professionally prepared treatment is being developed that will sit on YouTube for you to view. Make a point to view this Town Hall because it’s a one of a kind opportunity to hear from the best minds in the area on these topics including the county District Attorney, the Chester Police Commissioner, an active duty and a retired police officer, four criminal attorneys with a lot of experience, and the others I mentioned above. If criminal justice and law pertaining to current events in our country is your thing, you’ll love it. 

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Chester police Commissioner Otis Blair

As a community journalist, I rarely cover crime related stories. For me, it’s a matter of not being very interested in the topic although I know I’d generate a lot more traffic to the site if I went down that road. Crime is sexy and as much as people allege they want good news, criminality is a topic people consume, talk about, argue over, share and can’t get enough of. 

I’m looking forward to the day when people can be just as excited to sit in a room with experts and talk about our city finances, school reform, access to COVID-19 tests, environmental racism, food deserts, elder care, recreation and entertainment, community journalism, and other non-criminal/law enforcement related issues. 

If there ever was a perfect model for how to facilitate such discussions, it was last night at CAST Studios. Enrique Latoison pulled off a spectacular event, down to the cocktail shrimp and chicken tenders I couldn’t get enough of. 


Panelists:

  • Jacquie Jones- Attorney
  • Anzio Williams -Vice President of News NBC10 & Telemundo62 in Philadelphia
  • Chuck Peruto Jr. – Attorney
  • Tracie Burns – Attorney
  • Henry O’Neill – Police Sergeant of Prospect Park Police Dept
  • Theresa Agostinelli -Licensed psychotherapist
  • Leah Hoopes – Krav Maga Instructor
  • Kenneth Covert- Chester community leader and Care Connector at AmeriHealth Caritas
  • Steve Sheppelman -Retired Chester police officer
  • Jack Stollsteimer – Delaware County District Attorney
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A. Charles Peruto, Jr. and I chatted about a case he was involved in that I covered on this blog: Trial for man who killed woman in Ardmore has an interesting spin in the press