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Local activists react to recent police shootings, call for a change in policing practices nationwide

Posted at 7:30 PM, Jul 07, 2016
and last updated 2019-03-07 10:14:13-05

Even though the latest officer involved shootings are miles from here – they’re sparking a lot of discussion.

Patrick Franklin, president Urban League of Palm Beach County, says he sees a disturbing pattern.

“Minor situations that are being addressed are escalating to fatalities very quickly,” he says.

For Franklin the shooting in Baton Rouge this week hits especially close to home.

“Baton Rouge is my hometown,” he says. “I was shocked when I saw that. I knew exactly where it happened at.”

Here in Palm Beach county, he says the community reaction he's seen to these shootings has been universal.

“Can it be me next? Is it someone I'm going to know next?”

Sharon Engram gets that same feeling, when it comes to her children.

“When you're just tired of a funeral every week - you just don't know anymore,” she says. 

“I just pray no issues walking to the store, even being around friends, it doesn't matter where they are - I just tell them to be safe."

Franklin says the shooting of Corey Jones last year shows these situations can happen anywhere.

“It’s not like it can't happen here,” he says. “Yes it can happen here, it has happened here, and it will continue to happen in communities just like here.”

Back in 2014 the Urban League released a 10 point plan to address policing nationwide.

Among the things on that list - body cameras, a review of deadly force policies, and a comprehensive overhaul in training for all officers.

Franklin says those changes are still relevant - and needed -  because he says these issues affect us all.

"If you think it's just in the black community you're mistaken. It will have ramifications into your community, into your gated community.”

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