Community members bond with CMPD officers one year later

CHARLOTTE, NC (WBTV) - One year after the shooting death of Keith Lamont Scott, that sparked days of unrest across Charlotte, the community is still trying to rebuild and strengthen race relations.

Saturday, two groups hosted similar events; a Day of Remembrance and a Day of Healing. Both events were hosted with a goal of bettering community relationships.

At Marshall Park, dozens of families and officers from CMPD came together for a day in the park. Officers were playing laser tag with kids and neighbors were meeting each other.

"It's all about love and healing, it's time for the groups to stop fighting and battling," Organizer Charles Robinson said.

They also say the responsibility of building a better relationship between police and the community does not solely fall on law enforcement.

"Get connected, that's what's happening, the connection is being lost," Robinson said.

Robinson referenced a time when he remembers knowing the officers, who were patrolling his neighborhood, by name.

He says that connection and humanization is what Charlotte should strive for again.

At Little Rock AME Zion Church, the NAACP of Charlotte held a Day of Remembrance. Members of the community could sit in on courses about racial biases, transparency, CPR and martial arts.

"Because it's not just going to be the police, the city and the county, but the citizens of Charlotte have a responsibility to do something different," President of Charlotte's NAACP Corine Mack said.

She also urged members of the community to get out and interact more with each other, as did AME Zion church member Dirk Clark.

"We need to get interactive, a lot of people and Charlotte have lived here for years and they stick to their comfort zones and they don't interact with the people of different nationalities, people of different color and social levels," Clark said.

Also on hand, were a number of community leaders offering resources and ways for people to get more involved in the community. They include:

  • Damsel Movement: A group that equips, empowers and educates women to protect themselves and their families.
  • Vision Beyond the Eyes: A group that teaches skill training, provides employment, counseling and repair programs to the displaced homeless population.
  • One Time Inc.: An organization that provides free community outreach services and programs designed to aid individuals and families in crisis.
  • Charlotte Youth Sports & Cultural Mentoring Program: Empowering youth, 10-18 through academics, sports, health and mentoring.

"If we bonded, there's nothing we can't do in our communities," Robinson said.