This past weekend, the Phillip Parnell Association, NCBW, NAACP, Party Rental Ltd, and Township dedicated a memorial “Tree of Healing” to Phillip Pannell.
Phillip Pannell was just 16 years old when confronted by a police officer 30 years ago; he was shot in the back while running away with his hands in the air. The event was not as clear-cut as many shootings by police in other cities; the officer thought Pannell was armed, and was not known as having racist views before. The deadly shooting by a Teaneck police officer eventually resulted in a dialogue between the police and townspeople, and between Teaneck residents from different races and ethnicities.
The ceremony yesterday at Bernard E. Brooks Park followed a somewhat less well-received speech by one of the town council members, as the Council declared its support for a Black Lives Matter mural as long as it did not mention or portray any people, particularly Phillip Pannell.