Local bishop brings officers, angry residents together for meeting

True Blue: Officers reach out for change

TROY, Mich. – A local bishop put officers and angry residents in the same room to talk through their differences.

Local 4 Defender Kevin Dietz was there as both sides tried to tackle a very complex issue. Those in attendance were not holding back, making shocking statements that made some law enforcement officers cringe.

Bishop Hugh D. Smith wanted police to hear directly from passionate and angry residents about police shootings of African-Americans.

"There is a disease in our community, and we cannot heal unless we are willing to be honest and not defensive," Smith said.

Stories about young black men getting pulled over, arrested and shot have become more common. Meanwhile, police explained their own training and diversity efforts, while expressing concern for their own safety.

"I know how to stop white police officers from killing black men and boys," Dr. M. Tyrone Cushman, of United Ministries International, said. "For every black young man that is unarmed and killed by a white policeman, we will kill two white policemen."

He acknowledged that it's not something law enforcement officers or members of the community want to hear and said he's not telling anyone to do it. But he said that it would work.

"I guarantee you it won't happen anymore," he said.