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After the terrible tragedies suffered in the last week of this country, CNN held a town hall last night to try to bring about healing.

Dallas police officer Patrick Zamarripa was killed last week.

His father spoke to me last night about his son.

“He didn’t see color. He didn’t care if you’re white, green, purple. He’s a true Mexican hero. He’s always been my hero since day 1. He was always my little hero and now he’s my big hero in my heart.”

The mother of the son of the man killed by police in Baton Rouge sat on the same stage as the family of one of the officers and said this:

Quinyetta McMillon – Mother of Alton Sterling’s Son

“You said to me your heart goes out for all the families involved for the officers)) You have no idea how much it goes out – just even before the interview. We had no clue who we were, no clue whatsoever, and we just started talking. I told them you know this is our unity right here. This is it, this is it.”

Bishop T.D. Jakes was in the audience to offer healing.

“I think that our country has a responsibility to bring about peace. And in order to have real lasting peace that vindicates the tremendous loss that we see on this stage today we have to have peace and justice collaboratively. I don’t think we can have one without the other – I think we can have justice. And there’s a sharp difference between justice and vengeance.”

The purpose of the town hall was to start a national conversation on how to come together and heal.

Garry McCarthy, the former Superintendent of Chicago Police offered solutions.

“There are institutions and law enforcement that should be sitting down with BLM, and our try to facilitate that meeting if that’s what needs to happen. Because there has to be conversation, there has to be exposure and I think you’ll be shocked to hear the responses from some of these police executives. David Brown is not the exception, David Brown is a great example of it.”

And Dimitri Roberts a former Chicago police officer said the way to begin healing is by apologizing to the people who feel that law enforcement failed them.

“Here’s the thing Don, as a leader and as a police officer who served under Garry McCarthy but who also served my country. I put my life on the line for my country and I put my life on the line for my community. I will not sit here as a leader who took an oath and let this lady behind me cry because she her family and her children don’t feel protected when I swore an oath to serve and protect her. So I want to say I’m sorry – as a leader and as somebody who took that oath. I’m sorry that we have no fulfilled our civil duty and our responsibility to you, this community and your children. I’m sorry. And I just want to take a moment and say to you I’m sorry ((HUG, APPLAUSE))”

So that’s where we started.

How will you start, or continue the conversation in your own life?

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How Will You Start Your Own Police And Race Conversation? was originally published on blackamericaweb.com

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