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300 show up for open dialogue about Oakland protests

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At a meeting in Oakland a dialogue was opened between activists, elected officials and law enforcement leaders about policing tactics.

Wednesday night a meeting was held in Oakland between elected officials and community members. The goal was to help improve the tense relationship with law enforcement. This comes after weeks of protests in Oakland and around the country after the deaths of Eric Garner in New York and Michael Brown in Ferguson, Missouri.

"Why not promote restorative justice practices so we can stop spending billions of dollars on policing black and brown bodies," said one meeting attendee.

The goal of the meeting in Oakland was to gather information and create solutions to improve policing tactics. The people, including the mother of Oscar Grant, who was killed by a BART police officer, want the police to undergo more training in the social aspects of policing.

"By the police coming out to get to know the people in the community," said Wanda Johnson, Oscar Grant's mother, said.

"You're afraid and apprehensive of what you don't know. So if you come into the schools and into the community, then they'll know each other and deal with each other better," said one woman.

"Cops should take classes on personal history as well as an ethnic studies class conducive to the community they police," meeting attendee Norman Rasheed said.

Others want more emphasis on restorative justice to focus on the needs of the victims and the offenders as opposed to punishment. Elected officials and law enforcement leaders assured them more would be done to find better solutions.

"I've heard you loud and clear. I think everyone has, and we've got to organize. This is about organizing," Rep. Barbara Lee, D-Oakland, said.

In the end, everyone at the meeting was encouraged to write and lobby their local elected officials to pressure governments into making changes in policing tactics.

Related Topics:
societypoliticspolicepolice brutalityprotestAfrican Americansoscar granteric garnermichael brownbarbara leeOPDOakland
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