State College Mayor Don Hahn: ‘Our Greatest Challenge Is Apathy’
State College Mayor Don Hahn spoke to Onward State Wednesday evening at the rally for Osaze Osagie, the 29-year-old man shot and killed by police in March. Hahn addressed the news from District Attorney Bernie Cantorna that no charges would be filed against the officers involved in Osagie’s death and how the community could respond to it.
“I’m remembering the words of Martin Luther King Jr. that the greatest tragedy is not the vitriol and words of bad people, but the silence of good people,” Hahn said. “Interestingly enough, the greatest challenge we’re going to have in the future is apathy. In this town, it’s apathy we need to fight.”
The exact quote by Dr. King that Hahn was referencing is, “In the end, we will remember not the words of our enemies, but the silence of our friends.”
In the two months since Osagie’s death, several community members have already taken action, and plenty of conversations have been started among them.
Protestors forced a Borough Council work session to adjourn by staging a “lie-in” last month. The creation of a task force to address the community’s concerns as a result of Osagie’s death was announced at another Council meeting last month. At a third Council meeting, Hahn said he hoped there would be a work session to review the report, ask questions, and follow-up with possible reforms and improvements up on its release.
There were also two separate demonstrations near the Allen Street Gates Wednesday in the wake of Cantorna’s announcement. The first forced police to shut down College Ave. during the day, while the second featured a speech from Osagie’s mother and resulted in supporters marching to the borough building.
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