Community talks openly with law enforcement at forum

Open forum with police (VIDEO)

CINCINNATI, OH (FOX19) - A crowd filled the seats inside New Prospect Baptist Church seeking change on Monday night. Hoping for change in the relationship between the community and police.

"We just want the community members to have a dialog and to start a dialog with the police force," said event organizer Paul McMillan. "We just want to inform the youth, inform our young adults on how to interact with the police."

Part of the mission is to change a cultural relationship with a rough history, and that starts with reaching the youth.

"I'm here to engage with the officers and I thought that it was important for my son to be here," said Phyllis Bankes. She brought her son to hear what was said during Monday's forum.

The message is similar to the one that Mayor John Cranley passed along to community and religious leaders on Friday.

"One of the things that we learned coming out of 2001 and our racial unrest was that you've got to keep relationships going even when conversations are tough," said Mayor Cranley.

It's a message important enough to deliver to generations that may not remember the officer involved shooting that killed Timothy Thomas in 2001 or the riots that followed.

"We all went through that together but there were younger folks that were four or five years old when that happened and [they] are now 20, 22 and are concerned about what is going on nationally and maybe locally," said Mayor Cranley.

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