Community group meets with local law enforcement to discuss Indianapolis race relations

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INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. – In the wake of several officer-involved shootings around the country, a local group hopes to start a proactive conversation about police and race relations in Indianapolis.

“This issue remains here and we have to talk about it. We have to support our police officers; they have a very difficult job to do out there. It takes both the community and police to come together,” said event organizer Tricia Edwards.

Edwards works with a local organization called ILA’s house, which helps locals and ex-cons learn the life skills that they need to find jobs. Now, her focus is getting officers from Indiana State Police, IMPD, and the Marion County Sheriff’s Department to talk with residents about racial profiling and police relationships within the black community.

“The shootings that have occurred will be talked about-- the traffic stops also seem to be a big concern. We will discuss what you should do during a traffic stop for your safety and the officer’s safety,” said Edwards.

“I think that there is a lot of misunderstanding and a lot of misdirection in the narrative.  A lot of it happens from people that are misinformed and this gives us an opportunity to sort of correct the record,” said Indiana State Police Cpt. Dave Bursten.

Edwards wants to have the conversation before pent up racial tensions in the Circle City boil over, but knows there are two sides to the problem.

“It could potentially happen anywhere, but what we need to have is that discussion. There are things that we sometimes miss from both sides,” said Cpt. Bursten.

The meeting is at the Christ the Temple Church on Fall Creek Parkway North.

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