Community Gathers, Hoping To Improve Relations Between Public, Police

Friday, September 23rd 2016, 11:33 pm
By: News On 6

About 100 Tulsans met at John Hope Franklin Reconciliation Park Friday to talk about how to move forward as a community after the shooting of Terence Crutcher.

Their goal is to improve relationships between the public and the police.

No one protested and no one demonstrated at the event; instead, people were asked to write down ideas of how to make Tulsa a better place.

BB Ware lives about a mile away from where Tulsa police officer Betty Shelby shot and killed Terence Crutcher a week ago.

Special Coverage: Terence Crutcher Police Shooting

She said it's weighed heavily on her heart.

"It's just a lot. Basically, I think the hardest part is - we're so divided," Ware said.

Those who attended the ‘Call To Action’ event were asked to write down their ideas on how can Tulsa grow from the tragedy.

Ware wrote about relationships.

"Huge in building relationships with people who are different than us, and look different and think different - and have totally different life experiences," she said.

Other ideas ranged from limiting racism in everyday conversations, to more community policing.

"We allow people around us that we care about and love to say things that are hurtful," the group said. "More folks out on patrol and getting to know their constituencies - it can help a lot."

Deirdre Bazile helped organize the event. She said it's important to open up an honest conversation, even while grieving.

"We have open arms. We want to hear the voice of the people so we can go ahead and move ahead to a solution," she said.

The non-profit group that hosted the ‘Call To Action’ is called The Dreamers' Initiative. They say they'll read through all the suggestions, then, take some of them to city leaders and lawmakers.