Mayor Jon Mitchell, in the wake of the George Floyd death and the resulting outcry, put together a blue-ribbon commission to review police use of force.

Wednesday evening the mayor's commission held a remote public meeting. Due to the local and Massachusetts state COVID-19 restrictions on public gatherings and the relaxing of the open meeting laws by Governor Charlie Baker, the meeting was done via Zoom. The commission held the meeting to allow the public to give their input.

I watched the meeting and there were never more than 35 people watching it live on the Facebook platform. Of course, some people may have been watching it by other means. But in a city of approximately 100,000 people, there should have been more than just three dozen watching on Facebook.

Additionally, the number of people who offered their input was tiny for a city the size of New Bedford.

That leads me to believe that most people in New Bedford are satisfied with the quality of the men and women who are their police. If there was widespread dissatisfaction with the people and policies of the New Bedford Police Department, there would have been a massive turnout of people at the remote meeting and in the audience.

This was the easiest meeting to attend and participate in I have ever experienced. You could watch and participate from your couch! You could mask your identity and make charges anonymously. Prior to COVID-19, you would have had to go to an actual public meeting, walk up to a microphone, and make your comments in front of the public and you would be recorded on video.

The lack of interest shows you there isn't the kind of problems in New Bedford that there might be in other parts of the world.

Chris McCarthy is the host of The Chris McCarthy Show on 1420 WBSM New Bedford. He can be heard weekdays from 10 a.m. to noon. Contact him at and follow him on Twitter @Chris_topher_Mc. The opinions expressed in this commentary are solely those of the author.

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