Panthers players discuss plans to create change with CMPD chief

Panthers players discuss plans to create change with CMPD chief
Carolina Panthers linebacker Shaq Thompson marching during "Charlotte's Justice Walk for George Floyd" (Source: Nate Wimberly/WBTV)

CHARLOTTE, N.C. (WBTV) - Carolina Panthers players Shaq Thompson and Juston Burris were among a group that met with CMPD Chief Kerr Putney Saturday to discuss ways to create change in the community.

In an Instagram post-Saturday afternoon, Thompson shared a photo of the group with Chief Putney.

“Before Anything We Are Black Men. Before Being A police Chief...before being a football player...before being a coach...before being a radio host....BEFORE IT ALL WE ARE BLACK MEN And Our Life Matters," Thompson stated in the post.

Thompson wrote that Chief Putney met with a group of black men who are trying to create change in their community. After Chief Putney listened to the group, they left the conversation with three plans of action.

The plan includes adding more people of color on the Citizens Review Board, education, and creating transparency and trust to bridge the gap between police officers and the community.

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Before Anything We Are Black Men. Before Being A police Chief...before being a football player...before being a coach...before being a radio host....BEFORE IT ALL WE ARE BLACK MEN And Our Life Matters. I want to thank Charlotte Police Chief Putney for taking the time to meet with a group of black men who are trying to create change in their community. With everything that’s going on it’s time for action! This was the first step. Chief Putney listened, educated, and guided us into ways that we can create change. We left this conversation with 3 plans of actions. Step 1: Citizens Review Board: the citizens review board is how police officers complaints are handled. A sworn police officer can not be fired by just the police chief it has to be confirmed by the board. Currently their are 2 vacant spots on that board! The members are appointed by the City Council. We need more people of color on that board that understands our community. Education: we All have to continue to educate ourselves on the reasons for our differences in beliefs. Whether that’s our upbringing,  our country’s history, and each other’s cultural history. Is it a day where African American History can be required with General Education in high schools and universities? Community: we must continue to do the work to create transparency and trust in our community. We must bridge the gap between our police officers who were hired to protect and serve and a community that is fed up with the injustices not only by our officers but the entire system. Change takes time, but action starts now! Join Us! #BlackLivesMatter

A post shared by Shaq Thompson (@shaqthompson) on

“Change takes time, but action starts now! Join Us!” Thompson stated to the end the post.

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