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Forum to focus on police, race, community

As reports and unrest from a number of deaths of African-Americans at the hands of police continue, a Winchester group is hosting a community forum to discuss the issue and hopefully prevent more.

At 2 p.m. Oct. 17, the Winchester Black History and Heritage Committee will host “Policing Color: Black, Brown and Blue” to discuss the relationship between race, community and justice.

Winchester Black History and Heritage Committee member Jacquetta Hudson said the committee has wanted to stage the forum for months, but was not able to because of COVID-19 and the prevailing health guidelines and restrictions.

Now, Hudson said the time is right for the program, which will educate youth and young adults about what to do when they interact with police and if they are pulled over.

“Not all police are bad,” she said. “I know when you’re pulled over, you put your hands on the steering wheel and wait until they approach your window. We want (officers) to come and talk to the young people.

“I don’t know about the actual deaths, but most African-Americans can give you a story about something that happened with the police.”

The forum will be moderated by former Lexington police officer Reed Hampton and includes officers Justice Daniel and William Mason, and dispatcher Bethel Robinson.

Hudson said she expects the forum to last about two hours, and will include time for questions from the audience.

With the current health and social distancing guidelines, only 50 people will be allowed to attend the forum at First Baptist Church’s Family Life Center on North Highland Street.

Depending on public interest and demand, there may be a second forum at a later date, she said.

For more information or to reserve a spot at the forum, call 749-4186 or 595-3684.

About Fred Petke

Fred Petke is a reporter for The Winchester Sun. His beats include cops, courts, fire, public records, city and county government and other news. To contact Fred, email fred.petke@winchestersun.com or call 859-759-0051.

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