York NAACP issues statement following meeting with Mayor Helfrich over controversial police video

YORK -- The York chapter of the NAACP issued a statement following its meeting Tuesday with York mayor Michael Helfrich after Helfrich's decision to prevent the York City Police Department's lip sync video from airing.

Helfrich pulled the video because it featured a York business he termed controversial.

Helfrich, the NAACP, and community members who attended the meeting, dissected the video and discussed what it was about the video that made it so offensive to some and why it should have never been released.

In its statement, the NAACP recommended that York City government implement diversity and cultural sensitivity training with its department heads, along with other suggested changes.

The statement reads:

"Whereas the collaboration between York City Police Department and a controversial private entity caused community division;

Whereas York NAACP held a public meeting and received public comments on the issue;

Whereas York City Mayor Helfrich stated that the York City Police Chief lacked an understanding of the private entity's controversial stances and any potential negative affect on the York City community;

Whereas Mayor Helfrich stated that he forbid the collaboration, yet it occurred anyway;

Whereas Mayor Helfrich confirmed York City lacked license and control over the produced video;

Whereas Mayor Helfrich committed that the video would not be shown through any York City department or any York City media;

Whereas Mayor Helfrich requested community input on how to avoid  similar future situations;

IT IS THEREFORE recommended by the York NAACP that York City government:

  • Implement diversity and cultural sensitivity training with department heads;

  • Institute community conversations when encountering issues, plans, productions, and/or contracts with a potential impact on the community;

  • Maintain control over any and all media products involving York City Departments; and

  • Assure accountability in the execution of policies, procedures, and protocols in all future actions."