Community members discuss state of Charlotte one year after Keith Scott shooting, protests

Community members discuss state of Charlotte one year after Keith Scott shooting, protests

CHARLOTTE, NC (WBTV) - It is now one week away from the anniversary of the officer-involved shooting death of Keith Scott, which led to riots in uptown Charlotte.

Nearly one year later, police officers and community leaders sat down together to discuss what Charlotte has seen since. WBTV's Steve Crump moderated the event.

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The big discussion was on how to avoid prejudice throughout the city and within the police department.

"Our eyes have been closed because we forgot about one side of the community," Gemini Boyd said, who is the panelist and founder of Outstanding Lives Together.

CMPD's Vickie Foster got candid with the crowd.

"We are often at the place now where we feel like whatever we do at this point, it won't be good enough," Foster said. She encouraged the community to come out to department events, and meet police half-way.

"We have to get the same cooperation," Foster said.

Boyd emphasized the need for police involvement within different neighborhoods.

"We ask people to come all the way across town, and help bridge the gap between police officers and the community…that's not how you bridge the gap," Boyd said.

Many in the crowd emphasized the need to feel more connected to local police.

"I don't want to be policed by a stranger," one crowd member said. "I think police are working in a community they don't live in, they don't play in, and that's going to add a little angst to the discomfort that you feel."

Others circled the issue back to Charlotte's affordable housing crisis.

"There needs to be pressure on the business community to help us in the affordable housing industry, to build more units," another crowd member said.

Mayor Pro-Tem Vi Lyles, who won the Democratic nomination Tuesday night, made an appearance at the meeting. She admitted there is still a long way to go in the promises council made to the city, after last year's unrest.

"I know in my heart that if we don't step it up more quickly, we're going to lose some momentum," she told the crowd.

For panelist James Ford of the Public School Forum of North Carolina, he has a hopeful outlook in his vision for the city. "A Charlotte where fairness, equity, and inclusion is a part of the culture," he said. "And it's not something we're forced to do, we do it because it's part of us," Ford said. 
The panel encouraged the group to not let this be an empty discussion, and for everyone to take action in the community.

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