GREENSBORO, N.C. -- Pastors, community activists and parents filled a room at Bethel AME Church in Greensboro on Thursday. These men and women came together to talk about policing in communities.
Some of the examples brought up: a recorded 2014 incident of two brothers arrested by Greensboro police, where charges were later dismissed; the killing of Michael Brown in Missouri; the recording of a South Carolina officer fatally shooting a man following a traffic stop. These incidents, as well as others, started many discussions.
The topic of community and police relationships came up. Greensboro police have shared with us a number of initiatives they’ve launched -- neighborhood biking patrols, sitting down to drink coffee with the community, cookouts, and scheduled door knock events to interact with the people they serve.
Community activists challenged their efforts, suggesting that police need to try harder and possibly with a different approach.
“Get out their cars,” said one parent. “They're going to have to leave their guns and badges at home. They have to walk those communities in their jeans and maybe their police officer T-shirt. They have to get to know folk."
Greensboro police say they’re open to suggestions and will continue in their goal to bettering relationships with people in Greensboro.