A community in Wichita, Kansas, is making a tremendous effort to change the way that police officers and civilians interact with each other.
Nearly 1,000 showed up to McAdams Park for a gathering that was called the “First Steps Cookout.” During the event, members of the community, including Black Lives Matter activists, interacted with members of the Wichita Police Department.
All attendees were able to enjoy free food and engage in the tough conversations that we all need to start having. Wichita Police Chief Gordon Ramsay said that the event had a “Very good vibe. Very good vibe. It's everything I was hoping for.”
There was a protest planned by activists for that night; however, Ramsay suggested the event to the leaders of the protest in hopes that they can all just come together.
Members of the community felt that after the tragedies that have occurred in Baton Rouge, this was a smart and efficient way to respond to such racial tension. The event also included a well-received question-and-answer portion with Chief Ramsay.
After the event, it appeared that both the police department and the community were eager to make things better for everyone. The event was certainly a great step in the right direction and maybe every city in America should repeat the idea. Some say change begins with conversation, but maybe it begins with a cookout.
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