Black Lives Matters protest changed to cookout with police

Jul 20, 2016, 04:38
Black Lives Matters protest changed to cookout with police

Many praised Ramsay for holding the event, and several audience members said that in all the years in Wichita, they couldn't remember a police chief coming out in the community like this.

The Wichita Eagle reports that protesters had planned to march the streets on Sunday, but organizers met with former Duluth Police Chief Gordon Ramsay for hours. Ramsay suggested the cookout as a way to open communication and build trust between the groups. Likewise, the Wichita Police Department was trending on Facebook Sunday night - for all the right reasons. Officers and the community even danced together.

"It's nice to have one of those times when you can talk to the community and the community listens back, and everybody just has a good time", Wichita Police Officer Darrin Williams said. "I definitely think this is a start for this community, and I definitely want to keep it going".

Wichita Police posted photos of the cookout on its Facebook page. "I should have smiled I guess but we had fun". "It was a bonding moment where the police saw them as children and my [sons] got to see them as people!"

The barbecue ended with an informal Q&A with Ramsay, who took questions from the crowd and opened his office to anyone who felt like they were the victim of abuse.

"I hit the "Whip and the Nae Nae", I got some lessons on that", Moses said. "It takes all parties to come together to make a difference". Both police and activists seemed to agree the barbecue was better than anything that a protest could have accomplished.

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