San Jose leaders call for unity, healing following Dallas police shooting

SAN JOSE, Calif. (KGO) -- As people gathered in Dallas to honor the slain police officers, community leaders in San Jose came together to call for unity and healing at an event also attended by the city's police chief on Tuesday.

Those in attendance were from all walks of life. From church pastors, community activists to the police chief, they all met in downtown San Jose to start a very open and honest conversation.

Inside the African American Community Service Agency was a gathering of community leaders who pray that San Jose's best days are yet to come. "We need to stop talking about what we're going to change and we need to do something about it. We're going to get it done this time, and we're going to make sure it happens," San Jose resident Shaundra Lopez-Brooks said.

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Lopez-Brooks was among those who took to the podium Tuesday afternoon calling for change in the wake of what's happened in recent weeks on the national stage. "We're not anti-police, we're anti-injustice. We want something to happen. We want people to be held accountable," she said.

She's worried about the country her young son, Kasiah, is growing up in. "I'm scared for my life and I'm scared for my family if they're going to one day not come home," he said.

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That fear, along with the desire to discuss solutions, is what brought them all together. "We're doing quarterly de-escalation training, we're bringing in procedural justice to the department. We're bringing bias-based policing to the department," San Jose Police Department Chief Eddie Garcia said.

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Since the start of the year, San Jose police have handled 2,067 calls where weapons were involved. "It's important for us to have difficult conversations at community meetings, and talk to the community about what their fears are," Garcia said.

A community forum is planned for Thursday evening at the Mexican Heritage Center in Alum Rock. "If you look at civil rights over the last 40, 50 years in this country, things are better, but they're not nearly as good as they possibly could be," African American Community Service Agency Walter Wilson said.

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