Just 3 weeks after the tragic death of Mr. George Floyd, protests were still going strong and it was still a tense time in the nation. In the middle of this, The Hetty Group convened a virtual conversation over Zoom between college students and young adults from the National Millennial Community and law enforcement executives to talk through the historic moments unfolding before us. It was a private conversation between 40 young people representing 25 states and the U.S. territory of Guam and 5 law enforcement officials from across the country.
The question and answer session between the two groups revealed the human side behind the badge, debunked myths about how policing works, gave young people an opportunity to feel heard, and opened up an honest, thought-provoking dialogue about the changes needed in the policing profession. We would submit to you, that some hearts and minds shifted as a result of the session. And a glimmer of hope was seen on both sides, as both young people and law enforcement executives saw how simple connections and talking "face to face" could break down walls and create more open-minded attitudes toward facing the hard road ahead when it comes to rebuilding trust between young people and police.
The Hetty Group was proud to convene and host this virtual conversation. It provided us with hope as well, as we continue to work on delivering community engagement initiatives that ultimately lead toward building safer, stronger communities for all.
Below are the faces of the young people and law enforcement officials that came together for honest conversation.