Could Ferguson happen in Detroit the topic of NAACP forum - Dallas News |

Could Ferguson happen in Detroit the topic of NAACP forum

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The relationships between urban neighborhoods and their relationships with police is on the minds of many in America recently.

On Friday night the NAACP held a racial issues forum in Detroit touching on issues of how to avoid a situation like what happened in Ferguson, Missouri.

Pastor and Detroit president of the NAACP,  Rev. Wendell Anthony set the tone by talking about growing up black in St. Louis.

"My grandmother used to tell us not to go to Ferguson," he said. "If you went to Ferguson and if you were picked up by [police we might not ever see you again."

Anthony led a forum with civil rights groups, lawyers, law enforcement about the unrest in Ferguson.
Congressman John Coiners wants the US Department of Justice to look into all police shootings of African-Americans.

"Two black persons are killed by police every week," Coiners said. "And that is a shocking statistic."

The killing of Michael Brown, an unarmed black teen at the hands of a white cop sparked outrage protests and riots.

Wayne County Sheriff Benny Napoleon says law enforcement programs that promote inclusion and community engagement can prevent Ferguson-like situations.

"The problem is is that during these difficult financial times when money is short," he said. "We move away from those things that some people term as fluff."

Others blasted the militarization of police departments and what it  could lead to.

"A culture throughout law enforcement  in which the police view the people they serve and are supposed to protect, as the enemy," said Ralph Simpson, president of the northwestern Michigan American Civil Liberties Union.

Canton Police Sgt. Dale Waltz trains fellow officers serving in an increasingly diverse city.

"How did we get to where we are today," he said. "Why is there discord and and why is there distrust. And help officers understand history of things and how important it is."

The question on the minds of many and also posed at Friday's forum, could what's happening in Ferguson happen in Detroit?

To find out more about the forum, watch the complete report on the player above.
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