BALTIMORE (WJZ) — More violence overnight in Ferguson, Missouri, where protests continue over the death of an unarmed teenager shot by a police officer. Late Saturday night, shots were fired at two Ferguson police officers–one received non-life threatening injuries. Police say the shootings are not connected to the protests.
In the meantime, the parents of Michael Brown paid a visit to Baltimore.
Rochelle Ritchie has more on a local pastor’s effort to protect citizens from unwarranted police attacks.
Michael Brown’s parents did not speak Sunday at the Empowerment Temple, but Pastor Jamal Bryant says incidents like this play out too often in the black community. He is looking at ways to arm people with better ways of communicating with police officers.
The death of 18-year-old Michael Brown sparked outrage across the nation after he was shot multiple times by Officer Darren Wilson on the streets of Ferguson, Missouri.
The parents of Michael Brown paid a visit to Baltimore City’s Empowerment Temple Sunday morning. Their grief has become a nationwide discussion and a channel for Pastor Jamal Bryant to push for better relationships between cops and citizens.
“We’re seeing a trend across the country about abuse of power that is happening to African-Americans at the hands of police,” Bryant said.
Baltimore City is no stranger to alleged police brutality. In July of 2013, Tyrone West died while in police custody. Witnesses said excessive force was used. An independent review concluded that was not the case.
And in June of this year, an officer, who has since been suspended, was caught on surveillance video punching a man multiple times.
Police Commissioner Anthony Batts says he is aware these incidents negatively impact relationships between the community and his officers and is hoping the city will approve the use of body cameras to keep everyone safe and accountable.
“That’s why we need cameras to see what’s taken place so everyone, not only myself, but the residents and the citizens see what has taken place so they have confidence in their police organization,” Commissioner Batts said.
Pastor Jamal Bryant is hoping through his C.O.P.S. Program city residents and officers will develop a relationship of trust and respect as opposed to fear and violence.
“Tuesday at 6:30, we’re bringing the whole community to arm them, not with weapons, but with information so they know what to do when I’m stopped by a police officer, when I am accosted. What should I say and what are my rights?” Bryant said.
At that program being held Tuesday night, attorneys from the Baltimore area will be available to educate those on their rights when dealing with law enforcement.
The officer who shot and killed Michael Brown has not been charged.
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