Group meets with Chief Forte to discuss police-community relatio - KCTV5

Group meets with Chief Forte to discuss police-community relations

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Chief Forte talked to members of the community about the police force's relationship with them. (KCTV) Chief Forte talked to members of the community about the police force's relationship with them. (KCTV)
KANSAS CITY, MO (KCTV) -

2016 saw its fair share of tension between police departments and their communities across the nation.

On Friday, KCMO Police Chief Darryl Forte told people on Kansas City’s east side that there’s a reason such violence isn’t seen here.

The chief was invited to speak to a group of community members who are focused on improving safety and police relations in our city.

He gladly accepted the invite and didn’t hold back in his speech when he said what he thinks is right and wrong with his department.

At a McDonald’s off of 14th and Prospect, the welcome sign couldn’t be more fitting.

Every Friday for 14 years, about 60 people gather around tables. Not just for coffee and a bite to eat, but for a discussion of real issues.

To “take a look at ourselves and see what we need to do to better our community,” Teresa Perry, a community member, said.

Sonny Gibson leads his group called Eggs and Enlightenment with a gavel in hand. They meet every Friday from 9 to 11.

This week’s guest was Chief Forte.

Right away, the questions begin.

One topic was violence.

“We’re not just talking about black men,” Perry said. “Black women are getting killed. Children every day are getting killed.”

The chief said race issues exist in KC just like any other city but said they must be doing something right.

“Right now,” Forte said, “I’m for the current structure, because we didn’t get rioting like in the other cities.”

Other people brought up loved ones they believe may be wrongfully treated

“We’re going to get body cameras without a doubt,” Forte said.

Others believe some members of the black community are wrongfully arrested.

“I know some people out there that’s in jail that shouldn’t be in jail,” Forte said.

Gibson said it’s this open dialogue that keeps people coming back week after week and year after year.

Gibson said the group is open to anyone who wants to attend. “If you come in here and got something to say, you can,” he said.

The group said they plan to have Chief Forte back in the future.

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