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Community members speak out about excessive police force

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WILMINGTON, NC (WWAY)-- Excessive police force is a hot topic and now community members are voicing their opinion.

They say one particular voice needs to be heard. Executive Director of Advance Youth Outreach, Vance Williams, says excessive police force needs awareness, but especially for young black males.

"Are we willing to stand up and say wrong is wrong and I'm tired of it,” Williams said.

He started off by telling his own story.

"I grew up with a single mother, no father, never had a presence to a father," Williams said.

Williams says this is how he relates to 16 year old Tyrell Rivers. He surrounded this forum around rivers own case.

"The video in question involves Corporal Johnson attempting to subdue Rivers during an arrest," Williams said.

Williams had a panel of organizers to help raise awareness of excessive police force. Attorney Jennifer Harjo for the Chief Public Defenders Office helped explain your rights.

"Law Enforcement doesn't have the right to stop anybody without something that's called reasonable suspicion," Harjo said.

Mental health specialist Daawud El-Amin explained the lack of father figure in these children's lives.

"...Of them, about 80% of them have no male in their life," El-Amin said.

The community was present asking questions.

"What is the policy, or is there a policy with children?" a visitor asked.

All of these people had one goal in mind.

"Our voice has been muffled for so long. It's time for us to have a voice in the community and you know stress our concerns," Williams said.

The main goal of this forum was a call to action. They said the key to awareness is the spear of influence and knowing your rights.

Disclaimer: Comments posted on this, or any story are opinions of those people posting them, and not the views or opinions of WWAY NewsChannel 3, its management or employees. You can view our comment policy here.

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Barretta said

If you cant do the time don't do the crime! or in this case don't give them a reason cause it's butt whoopin season!
But seriously, Blaming the police for the shortcomings of persons or a group of persons breaking the law is like blaming forks because people are fat.
I do not see anyone holding meetings for all the white people that get a beat down when they are lawbreaking disrespectful scum.
Stop making excuses and start making responsible citizens why do you think there are so many detractors in the commentary section?

Clean up your own house before pointing fingers at everyone else

"willing to stand up and say wrong is wrong " ?

"Are we willing to stand up and say wrong is wrong and I'm tired of it,” Vance Williams, Executive Director of Advance Youth Outreach asked. Unfortunately, it looks like the answer to his own question is "apparently not".

If Mr. Williams wanted to be a true community leader, and not just another apologist, he would focus on the root cause of the violence and criminality being perpetuated by far too many young black males. Instead, he is focused on the resulting consequences of their actions. That solves exactly nothing.

Fix the root cause and there are no consequences.

fire

IMHO the police here have to fight fire with fire. Shame they have to rough some people up to make their point. BTW: Gang violence is down this summer. Good deal!

This infuriates me

What I see is the lack of personal responsibility. These people acknowledge that there is no father present, and crime is up. Yet this isn't the primary subject? Are you saying that these kids need special treatment because their parents can't be parents? Forget that.

How about this....

How about looking at this news site over that past 30 days. Young black males, who are complaining about excessive force, are committing murders, robberies, stealing cars, selling heroin, stabbing each other, breaking into people's homes, and selling drugs. And the cops are too rough?

You "community leaders" make me sick. Blaming someone else for your failures. The police aren't forceful enough.

Fix The Problem

Why not fix the problem, novel idea aye? Rally for positive male role models. Protest thug culture and lifestyle. But that would be too Uncle Tom'ish wouldn't it? When you quit crying and take action, it will all turn around.

Excessive force

If you are in a criminal environment, surround yourself with a criminal element and or basically a non law abiding dink and you are uncomfortable around peace officers then good. You should be uncomfortable.

No such thing as excessive force. The only force that exists is the amount of force necessary or utilized in order to make you comply with instructions of said officers of the law.

Don't want a beat down? Comply with instructions or don't break the law.

I have now read this article

I have now read this article six times and am still as baffled and insulted as I was the first time.
Let me begin by saying: the is NO excuse for excessive force by ANYONE in a position of authority. But, I'm sure, it's extremely difficult to actually define excessive force in many situations where the person being subdued is violent or resisting. I have a brother who was violent and had mental health issues, sometimes reaction overwhelms your thought process when trying to gain control of a situation. But, I'm not a professional.
What's baffling:
"surrounded this forum around rivers own case." Are you trying to give this kid a by for having to be subdued during an arrest for numerous charges?
I didn't see anything in the original news regarding Rivers that mentioned a problem with "reasonable suspicion". It seemed pretty cut and dry the kid was a problem in more ways than one.
The "mental health specialist" can only come up with the absentee father excuse. So, in your professional opinion sir, not having a father causes excessive force by police officers? Incredible.
'"What is the policy, or is there a policy with children?" a visitor asked' - what? Just...what?
The insulting part:
That ANY of this should be an excuse to be a loser because "you didn't have a daddy". I raised four sons, ALONE, nothing at all from "dad". None of them is getting arrested or resisting an officer. None of them is involved with any of the garbage this kid is (and has been for a minute from the looks of the old Twitter page - not lots there but enough if you're smart enough to figure it out).
Children not having a father is NO excuse. I've spent my kids whole lives building them up to know that.
Such a waste of time when you all could be doing something much more productive for the "young black males". This gives them no pride, it only gives them excuses. And it sure doesn't address the issues behind the reasons for excessive force by police officers.

The keys to stopping youth

The keys to stopping youth violence are:
1. Structured families supporting children.
2. Having children for the right reasons.
3. Teaching children the rules of society.

Easiest way to avoid

Easiest way to avoid excessive force = if an officer commands something DO IT! Halt, freeze, stop.. these are all words understandable by anyone with a 3rd grade education and should be complied with. Once the situation is defused (and you may be in handcuffs for a moment or more) is the time to talk things over with the officer(s) involved; if you've done nothing wrong then you'll be un-shackled and sent on your way. If you have other things in the past.. well you should have expected to pay the piper eventually.

Boils down to respect; show the officer some respect and you might be treated fairly, show him none and s/he will probably try to do so but YOU provoked what happens next if they lose it. Take your chances but I'll always side with reason and respect on the times I encounter an officer doing his duty. I've stared down the barrel of a small town cops revolver before and wondering how the this happened. He said License and Registration; they were in my wallet as I reached for same he didn't like it and drew. I immediately froze, after we both stopped shaking we discussed the situation, we parted ways and went to our respective families that night.

The cop that pulled his

The cop that pulled his weapon on you is one of those who should not wear the uniform. He had probably positioned himself incorrectly at your car window. We were trained to stand slightly behind the driver's left shoulder, which, if the driver pulled a weapon, he must turn all the way around to shoot at you. This gives the officer a little more time to react.

It falls under #3 but

It falls under #3 but respect the police and don't try to kill them..

Nope

The only reason to have children is to get child support and welfare/foodstamps from the government. The more children I have, the more money I make from the government. Good day.

Welfare and food stamps are

Welfare and food stamps are for deserving families! As for having kids and abusing the system- that's fine as long as you don't get caught.