Clemson panel starts conversation over law enforcement and black - FOX Carolina 21

Clemson panel starts conversation over law enforcement and black community

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Law enforcement, community activists and Clemson students gathered at a forum to discuss relations between law enforcement and the black community Sunday. (FOX Carolina/ 9/25/16) Law enforcement, community activists and Clemson students gathered at a forum to discuss relations between law enforcement and the black community Sunday. (FOX Carolina/ 9/25/16)
Law enforcement, community activists and Clemson students gathered at a forum to discuss relations between law enforcement and the black community Sunday. (FOX Carolina/ 9/25/16) Law enforcement, community activists and Clemson students gathered at a forum to discuss relations between law enforcement and the black community Sunday. (FOX Carolina/ 9/25/16)
CLEMSON, SC (FOX Carolina) -

Frustration and outrage has hit the streets of Charlotte. Now those voices are being heard a little closer to the Upstate.

A panel made up of students, law enforcement and community activists openly spoke with an audience at Clemson University on Sunday evening.  The conversation highlighted issues with law enforcement and the black community. 

Clemson graduate student and former Clemson football player, Rashard Hall, pulled this event together to start an important conversation. He named the forum "Ignorance isn't Bliss."

"What you don't know can't hurt you. But in this case what you don't know just very well may kill you," Hall said. 

"It's all about educating yourself, and educating other people. We all know something that can help the next person. So if we educate each other, then we won't be ignorant," Jack Mckissic said. 

Law enforcement, community activists, students and the public talked back and forth for hours.Traci Fant of the Freedom Fighters said the panel doesn't have all the answers, but conversation is a necessary first step. 

"I'm on the verge of being irate, it takes everything in me to wake up in the morning and turn on the TV because i know I'll see another story," Fant said.

"Not only get out and vote. Get involved," she continued. "If someone is on the police force that you think is dirty, go to county council every week and demand they be removed from the force."

Clemson Police Chief Eric Hendricks said some law enforcement is just as outraged by the national news, explaining it reflects back on local officers. 

"We are trying to make those connections with the community and it seems like we're taking two steps forward and one step back. There are people out there wearing, there are police officers out there that have no reason to be a police officer," Hendricks said.

"We have to do some things better in recruiting and our hiring, and probably in our training to make sure that we capture the people that may not be good fit."

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