Community members pack town hall to discuss police and community relations

Posted at 11:40 PM, Jul 11, 2016
and last updated 2016-07-11 23:40:52-04

WEST PALM BEACH, Fla-  She fought back tears as she spoke about her frustrations.

"Many of these kids don’t know their rights. They don’t know it at all. They’re trying to pass a test,” said a Palm Beach County teacher. “I put blame on myself for not educating these kids the way they need to be educated.”

She then looked to the school district’s law enforcement official in the crowd.

“How are we going to fix this together?”

This teacher is one of so many desperate for answers at a town hall meeting to discuss police and community relations. The meeting was hosted by Urban League of Palm Beach County. 

Monday night’s conversation comes after the most recent officer-involved shootings in Louisiana and Minnesota, along with the deadly attack on police officers in Dallas.

“Progressive police chiefs recognize that the relationship is broken,” said Riviera Beach Police Chief Clarence Williams.

Chief Williams was at the center of a panel made up of community leaders involved in everything from law to law enforcement and community activism.

“We're training young police officers how to determine who is trying to hurt them and who are not."

The panel discussed safety advice and solution. It also addressed the concerns and questions from the packed audience.

“If you’re getting stopped, the first thing you want to do is have your documentation out before the police officer gets up to your car,” said John Howe, a local lawyer sitting on the panel.

Another panel member said her best advice for change is to get out and vote.

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