Bridging the gap between police and the community - Cleveland 19 News Cleveland, OH

Bridging the gap between police and the community

Attorney General Eric Holder addresses the media after release the Department of Justice probe into the Cleveland Police Department. (Source: WOIO) Attorney General Eric Holder addresses the media after release the Department of Justice probe into the Cleveland Police Department. (Source: WOIO)
Members of the Alpha Phi Alpha announced their initiative from the steps of City Hall. (Source: WOIO) Members of the Alpha Phi Alpha announced their initiative from the steps of City Hall. (Source: WOIO)
Occupy Cleveland also met to discuss police and community relations. (Source: WOIO) Occupy Cleveland also met to discuss police and community relations. (Source: WOIO)
The conversation is front and center. The Cleveland Chapter of Alpha Phi Alpha gathered on the steps of city hall Thursday addressing the issue of gun involved interaction between police and the community.

On the city's westside, an "Occupy Cleveland" group also met.

These meetings come on the heels of Ferguson and right here in Cleveland, people saying more needs to be done to better relations with police.
 
Attorney General Eric Holder's report is putting a spotlight on the Cleveland Police Department.
 
"It doesn't surprise me, some of the things that they put in that report. There has been an excessive use of violence by the police officers against African Americans," says Terry Maynard, Chairman of the 100 Black Men of Greater Cleveland.

He and other members of the organization are working with black teens on how to deal with law enforcement.

"Follow the officers commands. Keep your hands in a visible position. Don't be unruly," says Maynard.
 
Maynard was recently a part of a forum at Cuyahoga Community College several weeks ago that included Cleveland Police Chief Calvin Williams and the ACLU.

Chief Williams said his officers are trained to be patient and talk through situations.
 
"If you obey the officer's command, if you keep your hands in plain sight and you don't make those quick movements until told to do something by an officer it turns out ok," said Chief Calvin Williams.
 
Community leaders are working to bridge the gap between citizens and cops with the hope of a better understanding on both sides of the law. Maynard wants to make sure someone oversees the AG's recommended changes. He's optimistic relations between police and the community will improve. The 100 Black Men of Greater Cleveland plan to host more forums on the issue.

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