Manor Democratic mayoral candidate McGrory points to gaps in village’s police reform report


All three Democrats are also running on the Pelham Manor Forward party line.

The Village of Pelham Manor review of the police department missed “a lot,” failing to recognize “the George Floyd murder happened” and the fact there is “inconsistent police interaction” in the village, said Democratic mayoral candidate Ramsey McGrory Sunday during the Democrat’s second “Meet the Candidates” Zoom call. 

McGrory was replying to a question on what the candidates thought about the current state of policing in Pelham Manor.

“There’s a lot that’s missing” from the report,” McGrory said. “Lack of self awareness in report, recognizing the George Floyd murder happened, recognizing the inconsistent police interaction. It feels like there is a lack of self awareness. I would expect a lot more detail.”

A total of 22 people attended the meeting, not counting the campaign managers or members of the press. During the course of the meeting, many questions were raised about policing in the Manor and holding the police department accountable. 

The candidates talked about investigating if 911 calls are race-based, which is now a violation of state law.

“There’s a lot of work to be done, and I hope that we can continue to work with the village to continue to address the issues in order,” said Andrea Ziegelman, a candidate for trustee.

Gov. Andrew Cuomo issued an executive order in June  requiring each municipality engage in a public process that results in adoption of an action plan to address structural racism in policing by April.

McGrory is running for mayor and Ziegelman and Lance Koonce for two village board seats on the Democratic and Pelham Manor Forward party lines. They are challenging GOP Mayor Jennifer Monachino Lapey and trustees A. Michelle DeLillo and Joseph Senerchia, who are also endorsed by the Neighborhood Party. Voting is March 16.

When asked about the racial crisis involving police departments worldwide, Lance Koonce said, “It’s easy to say that things look fine if you don’t dig hard beneath the surface. We know that there have been issues between the policing in Pelham Manor, and it is something that absolutely has to be looked at.” 

On body cameras, McGrory said, “At a high level, I think we would support” the technology. All three candidates agreed they would take residents’ opinions under consideration on the issue of adopting body cams.

Body cameras are not mentioned in Pelham Manor’s police reform report, but two members of the village’s stakeholder working group on police reform have said the technology is under consideration, though they cited concerns about costs and technology.

A question was also raised about coordination between Pelham Manor and the neighboring cities of Mount Vernon and New Rochelle.

“We should be open to all the ways in which we can collaborate,” said Ziegelman. “This divide is not good for anybody, and it’s time for us to be coming up with ways to communicate together and connect.”

“It has irked me to know that one of our only interactions with Mount Vernon has been about noise,” said Koonce. “There have been noise complaints, often directed at Mount Vernon. There seems to be a real sensitivity from Pelham Manor residents. It is something that can be dealt with better by better communications with Mount Vernon.”

The “Meet the Candidates” Zoom calls will continue every Sunday from 4 p.m. to 5 p.m. until Pelham Manor balloting on March 16.