On Saturday, members of the National Organization of Black Law Enforcement Executives, or NOBLE, met with pre-teen and teenage African-American kids at Harris Stowe State University to discuss the disconnect between police and the communities that they are supposed to protect.
The event, hosted by Kappa Alpha Psi Fraternity, Inc., was called Learn 2 Live.
“Why do you think there is so much terror and so much excessive force used when it comes to detaining African-Americans?” Miguel Reynolds, a senior at Cardinal Ritter Preparatory Academy, asked during the event.
“There is no secret,” said St. Louis County Police Officer Shanette Hall. “There is somewhat of a disconnect between law enforcement, particularly between men — young black men.”
The event also featured scenarios that the kids and officers were able to act out in order to see both perspectives.
“We do three different mock scenarios,” explained Kappa National Board Member Jimmy McMikle. “We actually get kids and engage them in the scenarios so they learn what to do and what not do to from a black cop`s perspective.”
Missouri State Highway Patrol Captain Ronald Johnson explained what he hoped to accomplish with the event, saying he hoped the students left knowing “how many things we have in common, that we were young men and we made mistakes. We’ve also done some great things and that they can achieve some great things and they have value.”