Wichita public meeting on police/community relations Thursday

08/28/2014 6:19 AM

08/28/2014 6:39 AM

Wichita police/community relations will be at the fore Thursday of a public discussion that comes in the wake of civil unrest and racial tensions plaguing a Missouri town.

The meeting, called #NoFergusonHere, starts at 6:30 p.m. at East High School, 2301 E. Douglas in Wichita. The forum will feature a panel discussion of community leaders – including Wichita Mayor Carl Brewer, Wichita Interim Police Chief Nelson Mosley and Wichita Branch NAACP president Kenya Cox – and aims to better the relationship between local law enforcement and the public.

The overall goal, organizers have said, is to create meaningful change in Wichita by channeling recent events in Ferguson, Mo., where unarmed black teen Michael Brown was shot earlier this month by a white police officer. Since Brown’s killing on Aug. 9, civil unrest and protests met with officers clad in riot gear and armored tanks have prompted discussions nationally about excessive police force both in the St. Louis suburb and at home.

The Wichita event, #NoFergusonHere, is being co-sponsored by Dellrose United Methodist Church and St. Mark United Methodist Church. The public is being asked to attend.

“Let us be proactive instead of reactive,” the Rev. Kevass Harding said in an interview with The Eagle last week.

“... We can take the situation in Ferguson and use it as a training moment to discuss better police/community relationships so we don’t have a young man laying dead in the middle of the street.”

Reach Amy Renee Leiker at 316-268-6644 or aleiker@wichitaeagle.com. Follow her on Twitter: @amyreneeleiker.

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