Blue on the Block: Blue community hopes to strengthen relationship with city

DENISHA McKNIGHT | 10/2/2017, 5:52 a.m.
America’s eyes are now set on how society responds to racism and police brutality throughout the country with recent events ...
Dallas County District Attorney Faith Johnson moderates a panel discussion during Blue on the Block featuring, from left , Bishop TD Jakes, Dallas police chief U. Renee Hall, defense attorney Toby Shook and Dallas County Sheriff Lupe Valdez participate in a forum during Blue on the Block. Denisha McKnight

Each exchange brought in a newly balanced perspective on how each side – average citizens and the average police officer – assesses about certain situations.

“We need you to understand that we can’t take care of anyone else if we can’t take care of ourselves, so our officers are trained to first protect themselves, but not to the extent that it creates or causes life injury or death to anyone else in that we are in reckless disregard for human behavior,” Hall explained.

The panel closed with a discussion about solutions that can solve this long-standing problem and bring peace to the city.

“Part of (accountability) is bringing the community to the table, creating advisory boards, bringing everybody to the table and talking about where we are as a community in law enforcement,” Hall said. “If we’re missing the mark, make the necessary adjustments to ensure we are actually going in the right direction. Talk is cheap until you put work behind it.”

The speakers emphasized that dialogue is a powerful tool that could change local courses of action and the environment that an individual lives in.

“The old saying has always been if you’re not at the table, you’re on the menu,” Valdez expressed. “So of course, you need to be there. You need to be at that table. We have to recognize that when we come to the table, we’re not going to get everything that we want. It has to be a give and take at that table.”