Citizens, attorneys, a retired homicide detective and a former county commissioner gathered Sunday at Crystal on The Plaza to discuss solutions in the wake of the recent shootings by police in Louisiana and Minnesota.
At the event, a town hall-style forum organized by the We Need a Solution committee, citizens asked questions and expressed their concerns about police brutality and the role of the police in the community.
One focus of the event was to discuss the appropriate way to respond when pulled over by the police.
Garry McFadden, a retired homicide detective with Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Department, emphasized the message: “comply and complain.”
“The problem that we have is: Do we comply?” McFadden said. “Now that’s going to sound crazy, but do we actually comply?”
McFadden, who stars in the new television series “I Am Homicide” on the cable channel Investigation Discovery, also said it is important for citizens to complain to the police department’s internal affairs so the department can hold officers accountable.
“Nobody knows how to complain about internal affairs, but you want us to say we have bad officers,” McFadden said. “You can’t hold us accountable unless you help us.”
Harold Cogdell, a Charlotte attorney and former county commissioner, said he wanted the meeting to focus more on finding solutions to policing problems, such as the need for all police departments to adopt President Obama’s task force recommendations.
“I was very reluctant to come out here,” said Cogdell. “There is no conversation or dialogue about solutions.”
But one participant, Corey Brown, a fitness professional and Charlotte resident, thought that it was important to have these discussions because he wanted to learn more about what to do if he was stopped by the police and what he should tell his children.
“I turned 32 on the 22nd, and I’ve never been taught what to do if I’m stopped,” Brown said. “The reason why I came here is to gain more information that I never considered.”