Community meeting held to brainstorm ways to stop Cleveland violence

Community meeting held to brainstorm ways to stop Cleveland violence

CLEVELAND, OH (WOIO) - On Thursday, Cleveland leaders joined together at a community meeting to come up with strategies to combat crime. Members of the FBI came to support the discussion and local efforts.

"We all want to live. We all want to go home to our families. We all want to wake up safe. All of that, all of us want," said Rhonda Williams, founder of the Social Justice Institute at Case Western Reserve University.

In a packed room, top officials from the city, county and nation started a dialogue with local citizens to put solutions on the table to stop the killing and police abuse.

FBI Director James Comey spoke frankly and clearly about violence happening around the country.

"We in law enforcement have to own our history. We have to understand that every single one of us carries latent biases. We have to all stare at the fact that something happens to those of us who do this work. We see so much pain and crime and madness all day long, that it can warp our view of life. Look, we've also got to understand as much as we have to improve policing and we can get better, we can be better at our jobs, anybody who thinks that better policing is the answer to the challenges that we face in the neighborhoods that we patrol are kidding themselves."

Cleveland Police Chief Calvin Williams, who invited Comey to the city, asked the next generation to weigh in with possible solutions.

Nautica Jefferson, a junior at St. Martin De Porres in Cleveland, gained a new perspective by attending the conference at Tri-C.

"You don't really realize how they really, truly feel. You get that hard cover from what you see in the TV and on social media," said Jefferson.

Knowing just how important youth is, Williams praised them.

"I'm definitely appreciative of the young men and women being here this morning, because you are the future of what's going on here, every step of the way, not just in Cleveland, but around the country," Williams said.

Now that the discussion is over, it's time to implement the policies. Officials are asking for your help in doing so.

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