Bethel AME Church-Pompano to host fourth annual “Real Talk: Our Community and Law Enforcement”
By Staff Writer
Motivated by a desire to address any local tension between police and the public that might flow out of reaction to the well-publicized police killings in Ferguson, Mo., and New York, the Men’s Day Leadership Team at Bethel AME Church-Pompano, under the dynamic pastorate of Reverend Eddy Moise Jr., has organized a community forum as part of its annual Men’s Day Celebration.
Set for 1 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 14, 2015 at the church, 405 N.W. Third Avenue (a/k/a Esther Rolle Avenue), the forum, headlined “Real Talk: Our Community and Law Enforcement,” is designed to promote an open dialogue on law enforcement practices; the Michael Brown and Eric Garner decisions; North Miami Beach Police Department’s use of suspects’ mug shots for target practice; the process for reviewing police shootings/and other alleged misconduct for criminal charges; community disconnect, according to Men’s Day Chairperson Johnny L. McCray Jr., Esquire.
In part, Attorney McCray says, the forum, which is open to the public, will explore “what we expect from law enforcement and what they expect from us.” Those who at-tend the forum will have the opportunity to take part in discussions with the panel.
“No matter if you’re Black or white, it seems like everybody is on high alert” on the issue of police and community relations, McCray said, adding that the goal of next Saturday’s forum is that “hopefully, we won’t have that tension here.”
Part of Saturday’s forum will provide some practical les-sons in relationships between police and community members, teaching citizens how to act in a number of scenarios — from traffic stops to residential calls — that might find them interacting with police, Thornton said.
The forum has been well publicized, according to Mc-Cray, with flyers distributed in Broward public housing communities, churches, schools, Greek-letter organizations, and on Facebook.
Guiding the discussion Saturday will be moderator Charles Cherry, Jr., Esquire, owner and publisher of the Florida Courier newspaper.
Also the forum will consist of four impressive confirmed panelists; namely, Attorney Benjamin L. Crump (lawyer for Trayvon Martin and Michael Brown); Broward Sheriff Scott Israel; Broward State Attorney Michael Satz; Broward Public Defender Howard Finkelstein (a/k/a Channel 7’s Help Me Ho-ward); and Broward NAACP President Marsha Ellison.
Those who attend the forum will have the opportunity to take part in the conversation with the panelists.
The culminating Men’s Day Worship service is Sunday, Feb. 22, 2015, 11 a.m. Guest Messenger will be Broward County native Rev. Frederick Davis, pastor of First Cavalry Baptist Church, Durham, N.C.