October 13, 2017 05:59 PM
(ABC 6 News) – One of the biggest topics of conversation lately have revolved around officer-involved shootings, especially in Minnesota.
On Friday, The Rochester Police Department and FBI agents invited the community to have an open conversation about law enforcement and their use of force.
Clarence Castile, the uncle of a man shot and killed by police last year, was a key part of the forum.
“They need to know what the community needs from them and the community needs to know what law enforcement needs," said Castile.
Philando Castile, his nephew, was shot and killed on June 6, 2016 during a traffic stop by St. Anthony police officer Jeronimo Yanez.
"There has been a breakdown in communication between law enforcement agencies and the community so the object here is to sort of improve some of that communication. Debunk some of the myths and unveil, lift the lid a little bit on what's really going on," said James Densley, an associate professor at Metropolitan State University.
Ann Saunders, an assistant special agent with the FBI says they're looking to change things for the better, "The goal is that we talk and have some tough conversations and that our eyes are opened and that we look at things differently maybe through each other's eyes."
Densley added, "Thinking about how can law enforcement agencies do a better job of partnering and working with communities both from an educational standpoint so how do we share information, how do we have a good dialogue and communicate so we know what's going on."
Those reasons are why Clarence Castile attended the forum and is now a member of a board that regulates police training and licensing.
"It’s not gonna go away. It's not gonna get better if we don't do anything. We can't just sweep it under the rug and act like it never happened. It did happen and it's still happening," said Castile.
Friday’s meetings are part of several the planning committee is having with different agencies throughout the state.
Created: October 13, 2017 05:59 PM
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