Police and residents agree, meeting each other half-way is crucial to mending what some have called a fractured and frayed relationship.
Today, you’ll hear from both sides as they discuss the impact of not what is said, but how.
The conversation also takes a turn to profiling, an issue far beyond just South Bend.
“We don’t know how to approach you, I just need help,” Loria Perez said, emphatically. Perez lost her child one year ago this week to gun violence. She was one of seven included in the conversation.
“I can’t walk up to a police car, without him saying ‘ma’am, get away from the vehicle,’” she said, making the point that her perception of officers has changed based on the fact she wanted help but was yelled at instead of told.
“The police officer that does that to you, be mad at him or her, not at all police officers,” said County Metro Homicide Commander Tim Corbett. “With news, there are a lot of the negative things that are put out, and people automatically buy it. I don’t think it’s as bad as what it is,” he added.
Jarod Pigee was also a part of the discussion. He says he’s met many good officers, but the few bad outweigh them.
“Sometimes I feel that approach should be worked on because I want to live a normal life,” he said.
“They don’t have that love,” said Dejaa Glenn, explaining the reason why many may not trust police. “That’s how they grew up.”
Although he’s not a police officer, Christopher Fronk is the Chief Deputy Prosecuting Attorney. He understands the divide between law enforcement and the community they represent.
“The responsible kids are always going, ‘Why is this guy watching me?’ Because he doesn’t know if you’re one of the responsible kids or you’re the one who needs the supervision, it’s hard to tell,” says Fronk.
“Don’t watch them, talk to them,” responded Perez.
Watch the attached video to see the entire 2nd part of this series.
Thursday in part three, solutions are discussed. But on the road toward solving this widening problem, it won’t be a scenic route, but will the scenery change?