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Police And Community Leaders Come Together To Improve Relations

Photo Credit: Homewood Nation

Photo Credit: Homewood Nation

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PITTSBURGH (KDKA) – Activists, politicians, and top law enforcement spent three-hours behind closed doors talking about improving relationships between residents and Pittsburgh police, primarily in the city’s zone 5 neighborhoods.

An incident last week outside the Community Empowerment Association in Homewood sparked outrage among some of its members who raised the issue of race.

A teacher and a photographer, both African-American, say they were unjustly targeted by a white police officer.

After that, protestors showed up outside Zone 5 Headquarters.

Chief Regina McDonald told KDKA’s Kym Gable at the Monday meeting, “the incident that occurred and the feelings the people in the community have toward police, we want to get a better understanding of their concerns and what issues they think are important. “

Community Empowerment Association president Rashad Byrdsong said, “We talked about training, we talked the leadership within law enforcement, so it’s very encouraging to me that this incident, unfortunate as it is we’ll begin to deal with the issues within our community and police relationships here.”

Councilman Ricky Burgess said he’s considering pushing new legislation dealing with police sensitivity training.

He also wants to see a more community-oriented policing approach.

There is a public meeting Tuesday night at 6pm at the CEA office on Kelly Street.

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