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Metro-Atlanta and national leaders to hold candid conversations on police interaction and people of color

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    ATLANTA (WGCL) — Tensions are high in Minneapolis after someone fired at National Guard members early Sunday morning.

The guard says officers were helping police, when a white SUV rolled up and someone fired off shots.

No one was seriously hurt, but one guard member had to be taken to the hospital after being cut by shattered glass.

The shooting comes just a day before the closing arguments are set to begin in Derek Chauvin’s trial.

The trial has Fulton County leaders looking to improve the community’s relationship with law enforcement.

Local and national leaders are holding candid conversations on police interaction and people of color.

The goal is to raise awareness and educate the community.

The Buckhead/Cascade City chapter of The Links has joined forces with the National Organization of Black Law Enforcement Executives.

“The community, especially the black and brown community, we need to be proactive,” said Commissioner Khadijah Abdur-Rahman, who represents Fulton County, District 6.

They’re presenting PEACE: Police Engagement and Community Education, which is a program where panelists will participate in candid conversations about police engagement in communities of color.

“It’s about excessive use of force on marginalized minorities, especially black people, that I don’t see them doing to our white brothers and sisters,” said attorney, Ben Crump.

In 2021, a Georgia legislator introduced a bill to instruct drivers on how to interact with officers during a traffic stop.

“We’re trying to tell them the basics of what they need to do when they’re stopped, but more importantly, we’re trying to do more civic engagement, let them know how we’re trying to work on the laws,” Commissioner Abdur-Rahman added.

Other leaders cited a need to increase knowledge of driver rights when engaging officers.

“We are in crisis mode when it comes to these unarmed killings, we really have to do more than march, we really have to do more than feel bad and be a hashtag,” Commissioner Abdur-Rahman said.

The Dekalb County Police Chief said their department is working on being more transparent:

“One of the biggest things we’ve been doing is communicating, opening lines of communications, dialogue, and interaction,” said Chief Mirtha V. Ramos, of the DeKalb County Police department, “Trying to get away from “us” versus “them”, because we’re in this together, and we need to work at solving our problems together.”

The ultimate goal is to promote understanding and reduce police violence impacting marginalized communities.

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