On Sunday, May 31, the SOLUTION MOVEMENT began creating the platform as we marched.
As a community activist, I shared with the attendees a part of our mission: to create a safe space for community members, city officials and law enforcement to dialogue on the resolve of police brutality.
During the march, we focused on remaining peaceful in all manners in order to avoid further violence or jail time. We walked in peace.
When we arrived in downtown Dayton, the police officers were stone faced.
“We need you to stand with us. Help release some of our anguish and let us know you stand with us,” I cried out to them.
Out of the hundred that stood, only a few signaled their solidarity. Our protest was held to be peaceful, but we had no law enforcement openly join our party.
I had the opportunity on Monday, June 1, however, to speak with Lt. Randy Beane from the Dayton Police Department. He offered a shake of hands to support safe protesting, to respect the right to act in a protest.
>>RELATED: Retired Dayton police major says ‘racism is in the groundwater’
Our mission furthered when I began correspondence with Lt. Joe Lavene of Centerville Police Department. Preparations were made easy with their assistance and a mile-long protected path was cleared for our marchers. Our organization held a peaceful protest, reserved by our ally, at the Centerville amphitheater. Supporting law enforcement stood in union as an effort to demonstrate community on the issue of brutality by law enforcement.
>> RELATED: Dayton Mayor Nan Whaley says ‘I still believe in our ability to live up to our values’
The solution should begin with an open forum on police brutality among citizens, law enforcement and lawmakers to start a healing process. The safe space should commence monthly or bi-monthly to generate possibilities. Thorough diversity training provided to all police departments. Training provided on tactics to disarm a suspect without it resulting in murder. Additionally, a financial freeze should be established as retribution for the act of violence.
Lastly, mental health support and resources should be provided for those who have been affected by this trauma.
Our children fear law enforcement. Parents worry if their child will return home. We need those who are not people of color to join the SOLUTION MOVEMENT to shape the change in the status quo.
WHAT DO YOU THINK?
Send your thoughts to firstname.lastname@example.org. For verification purposes, include a daytime phone number and your address.
Asia Gibbs is executive director of SOLUTION MOVEMENT.