(WJBK) - From Ferguson to Ferndale, relationships between officers and minorites have been tested, bent and questioned. Now, the American Civil Liberties Union wants to start fixing those relationships, so they invited police chiefs and community members to jump start the conversation and the relationship that has been strained for years.
"In the history, and we can go back 50, 60, 70 years or however long you want to go back, between law enforcement and communities, and particularily communities of color has not always been good and at times have been atrocious," says Kalamazoo Police Chief Jeff Hadley. "We're living some of that right now in this country."
The ACLU looked for departments that have made consistent efforts to make things better. Chief Hadley and the Flint police chief joined community members to come to a better understanding of each other.
"We lack law enforcement experience; we're nto professionals in that regard. We don't have those credentials. And by the same token, law enforcement very often may not have the same access to the community that we have," says Mark Fancher of the ACLU.
The conversation focused on how to best approach the touchy topic, starting by discussing what rights people have and defining officers' roles.