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League of Martin hosts raw conversation on police-community relations

Posted at 10:26 PM, Oct 22, 2020
and last updated 2020-10-22 23:26:39-04

MILWAUKEE — After a summer of tension and unrest, a peaceful discussion about ways to make things better was held Thursday evening.

Police officers and activists were all together in one room to discuss ways to move forward as one.

The meeting was scheduled for two hours at Redeemer Lutheran Church, but it went on for a third hour as topics from protests, to police transparency, went on the table.

The scheduled two hours was not nearly enough for the raw conversation about citizen-police relations in the City of Milwaukee.

"We got plenty of criticism,” Acting Milwaukee Police Chief Michael Brunson recalled. “'Milwaukee Police, you didn't do enough. My business was destroyed... My business was ransacked. Where were you Milwaukee Police Department?'"

Everything including police accountability, a summer of unrest, arrests, systematic issues in policing, and how to move forward were all topics that were discussed.

"People are angry at this system and how things are going for a reason,” said activist Vaun Mayes.

Angry, but people on Thursday were willing to sit and talk.

"You have so many people who are forcing that conversation. This isn't a request for a conversation in 2020. Now people are demanding it,” said Jamaal Smith of the Office of Violence Prevention.

The meeting was held by the League of Martin, an organization for Black police officers. Everyone in the meeting agreed that the discussions continue into a new police administration.

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