Black and Blue: WRAL examines community-police relations

Posted December 13, 2016

— Black men shot by police. Ambush-style killings of law enforcement. Riots and protests.

As the tension between law enforcement and the African-American community builds in North Carolina and around the country, WRAL on Tuesday night presents an unprecedented two-hour community conversation on TV, web and social media.

Tonight’s discussion, which will be presented live on WRAL-TV and at 7 p.m., comes after a number of high-profile cases across the Triangle.

In September 2015, Shakina Biggs' son, Lavonte Biggs, was shot and killed by police.

"It's very hard for me to sit here and say if he was of a different race in a different neighborhood, that we would be dead," she said. "When they police in our neighborhood, it's different. It's a little more hostile. We just want to be treated like everyone else wants to be treated."

Durham police sergeant Dale Gunter said he does treat everyone equally, but understands why many in the African-American community do not trust police.

"Cops have screwed up," Gunter said. "When you hire human beings, you're going to have a few that make mistakes. And then, you've got a few that are outright breaking the law."

Gunter says the vast majority of police officers are honest and want to do good work. He said many just need to communicate better.

"Police can talk to citizens a whole lot more, no matter their color," Gunter said. "Most important tool I have is my ability to speak to someone with my mouth."

Immediately following the documentary, the conversation will continue with a 90-minute discussion. WRAL invited community leader and speaker Tru Pettigrew to moderate a critical conversation about race with law enforcement, faith leaders, and members of the black community.

“Beyond Black and Blue” will be streamed on and at 7:30 p.m.


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  • Jeff Freuler Dec 13, 2016
    user avatar

    Are there some issues in policing? Sure....Are there as many as alleged? NO

    Police officers are hired from the community and are human. They receive a minimum amount of training and are not paid nearly what they should be paid to do the job they are asked to do. Then they are thrust into situations where they have to make a split second decision in less time than that and all the while everyone else then tells them how they should have don it.

    There are issues on both sides of the fence but in today's society there are more problems with people outside of policing that do not hold themselves accountable their own actions. They had rather blame someone else.

  • Shivia Phoenix Dec 13, 2016
    user avatar

    One of the most hurtful experiences that I have had with police was with Chapel Hill PD. I am an advocate at a well known volunteering agency that works closely with the PD. I was at the station waiting on the next volunteer to change shifts and 3 police officers came out to my car all with their hands on there service weapons (one in front of my car, one at my door and one in the back) . They asked me why I was there and I told them I was a volunteer and his response to me was, "We just wanted to make sure you weren't up to no good." I have been with this agency for 5 years now and I have not gone back out to the police station in many years because I don't feel safe. I wasn't "Up to no good" I am active in the community. There were other individuals who came out to the PD who where white and no one came out to question why they were there. I want to know how people of color can work with you when there is obviously a bias against us? Can you show us that you won't hurt us?

  • William James Dec 13, 2016
    user avatar

    How can you fix the problem when the police won't even admit there is one?

  • Jeff Freuler Dec 13, 2016
    user avatar

    Interesting quote from Shakina Biggs as this is what she said in 2015 when interviewed by TV11:

    "This is not about a black or race thing. This is about life. There's got to be something going on in this country where we gotta figure out how can we save the people who want to go besides killing them and giving them what they want," she said.

    Now she has changed her story trying to make it a race issue. Her son pointed the weapon at the police so he was deemed a threat and shot by the police. Seems like she has an agenda