Community Reacts to Matthew's Arrest and Release

By: Sarah Batista
By: Sarah Batista

September 8, 2005

Now that Matthew has been cleared many members of the African-American community feel the issue runs much deeper than just this case. It seems he was in the wrong place at the wrong time. Many say they're afraid to simply walk the streets for fear of being racially profiled.

Since his release on Wednesday, Matthew is already back at work trying to put this whole incident behind him. CBS19/ABC16 spoke with many of his friends and colleagues all of whom spoke very highly of him. They say they knew all along that police had the wrong guy. None of them were willing to speak on camera but did say they're upset that this could possibly damage his name. They feel very strongly that Matthew's rights were violated.

"I was walking over to one of my friends house off of fifth street and I told them that and I [was] stopped. I feel the only reason I [was] stopped because of the color of my skin," said Matthew.

"I'll do what I can do to be sensitive to the issues but I got a public duty and responsibility to run a police department and do it in a way that's going to accomplish a mission here," said Police Chief Tim Longo.

Still, that doesn't do much to comfort the people close to Matthew who are extremely hurt and frustrated by all his arrest. They say racial profiling in this community has been an ongoing issue and in their opinion this case proves that.

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