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Mayor calls out council members who voted ‘no’ on bulletproof vest resolution honoring fallen officer

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BINGHAMTON (WBNG) -- During a Wednesday afternoon news conference announcing details of a violent encounter between the Broome County Special Investigations Unit Task Force and an armed man, the mayor of Binghamton called out two city council members for their "no" vote on a proposed bulletproof vest program honoring a fallen officer.

The two council members were not named directly, but the mayor called their votes "disturbing" and "concerning."

"This is not something that you are reading about in another city," Mayor Rich David said, referring to Friday's incident. "It is equally frustrating and concerning when you have members of city council, in this case two specific members of city council, who just within the last week or so voted not to support a resolution that honored the sacrifice of Patrolman Lee Barta..."

Binghamton City Council members Angela Riley and Aviva Friedman confirmed to 12 News that they voted against the proposal.

Mayor Rich David said a bulletproof vest is the best resource an officer can have, and the resolution was drafted to honor fallen Binghamton Patrolman Lee E. Barta.

12 News reached out to Riley and Friedman after the mayor's news conference about their votes.

Both women said they voted against the proposal because it did not solely focus on Officer Barta and his memory.

The resolution is broken down into four parts:

  • One part acknowledging general support for police
  • One part honoring Barta and other fallen officers
  • One part advocating for more resources, including bulletproof vests
  • One part calling on the city council to provide tools to protect officers and community members.

"I very much wanted to pass this resolution, but the resolution in its original form had some clauses in it that I didn't feel were appropriate for a resolution that was memorializing somebody," Friedman said. "I felt that there were some clauses in the resolution that were needlessly politicizing this."

Friedman also told 12 News she took issue with the tone of one clause expressing unwavering support for law enforcement in general.

Friedman also said the Lee Barta Community Center is in her district and she said the center provides amazing support and services for her constituents.


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