Open Forum Held to Settle Tensions between Community, Police

Open Forum Held to Settle Tensions between Community, Police

Dozens of people gathered at Union Grove Church to express concerns they have with the police.
MEMPHIS, TN (localmemphis.com) - Settling tensions between residents and cops. People in Frayser voiced their concerns and some heated tempers flared about the Memphis Police Department.

"The neighborhood people can come in and sit down and listen and get a chance to express their feelings on how they feel like things should be," said Ronald Teamer.

That's exactly what happened Saturday at a community police relations event in Frayser. Dozens of people gathered at Union Grove Church to express concerns they have with the police. Topics discussed included race issues, police brutality, and power and powerless issues.

Ron Teamer has previously served time in the penitentiary for drugs. He says it's hard for inmates to relate with police when they're no longer behind bars. As a changed man, Teamer felt the event was important to start a bond.

"We can really find out how much they really want to help us and the things they'll do for us. It gives us a chance to better ourselves," said Teamer.

Things heated up once one woman shared her unfortunate experience last year with the police.

"I was brutally thrown to a concrete driveway, knees put all in me, lifted up, arms twisted to my back. I had to let them know while sitting on my porch that I am disabled," said Glenda Dickerson.

Dickerson, a diabetic, didn't realize her nurse called police to check on her. Once police arrived she questioned if they were real or fake. Fearing for her safety she ran and that's when she says the North Memphis police attacked her. The 53-year-old told police Saturday the incident should have never happened.

Organizers say questions and issues from citizens will be sent to Police Director Toney Armstrong for review. The event ended with both sides talking about solutions on how to improve community-police relations in a positive way.

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