Charleston looking to address systematic racism

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February 07 2021 06:00 pm

CHARLESTON, WV (WOWK) Weeks after the in-custody death of George Floyd in Minneapolis, one local ministerial organization is calling upon community leaders to “enhance emotional and racial intelligence” within law enforcement.

Members of the Charleston Black Ministerial Alliance wrote a proclamation directed to the City of Charleston and Charleston Police Department asking for their support in strengthening police training to better serve and protect all residents.

“Be it further resolved that the Charleston Police Department with the support of the Mayor (Amy Shuler Goodwin) would revive the work of RESET,” is the plea for interracial connection and contact in the proclamation.

“RESET” is a community group that began working with the Department in 2014 and helped create close working relationships between community members and city officials, as well as offer police training.

RESET Advocate, Rev. Ronald English said, “I was involved in the training that happened under Chief (Brent) Webster, and so that is what we had planned to continue and that’s what we looked forward to continuing under the succeeding chiefs.”

RESET stands for Restoring Ruptured Relationships/Empower Leadership/Strengthen Alliances/Establish Connections/and to Transform our Community.

Advocates say under the last three police chiefs, interracial connection and contact stopped and believe it needs to be revived.

RESET Advocate, Rev. Roberta Smith said, “If you have a working relationship with the organizations in the good times, so when the bad times come, it’ll be far easier to work out these little problems … “

City officials say they have received the proclamation and have spent the last month meeting with community leaders to tackle a number of racial issues outside of policing, and will make an announcement about their plans in the near future.

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