EAST LANSING, Mich. (WLNS) – The question that comes up whenever an officer involved shooting sparks controversy is: how can communities and the country for that matter start to heal the divide?
A gathering in East Lansing tonight tried to find some answers as members of local law enforcement and city leaders sat down to share their stories on both sides of the issue.
“Don’t give up, stay strong in the storm,” said Pastor James Hines of the Lily Missionary Baptist Church in Jackson.
An emotional night filled with grief, sorrow and pride.
“One of the things that we need to do by having conversations like this…understanding perspectives from the other side is fixing those issues,” said Lieutenant Scott Wriggelsworth of the East Lansing Police Department.
To “understand.” This message was loud and clear tonight as police and people of color shared their stories with the hopes of creating peace.
“God let my son live and I’m here trying to be a voice for other children and other parents that no longer can speak,” Hines stated.
Dozens of people attended tonight’s event to gain perspective from each speaker including Lansing Police Chief Michael Yankowski.
“Today is an opportunity for us to hear the voices of our community and hopefully it’s an opportunity for them to hear the voices of law enforcement and how can we provide a better service to our citizens,” said Yankowski.
But ultimately, this “Black and Blue: Healing Together” event truly had one meaning…to put a stop to the divide between law enforcement and people of color.
“We can always do better and I think it starts with sitting down and having a conversation about why we do what we do, perspective from the other side and simply just getting to know one another,” said Wriggelsworth.