Community conversation in Raleigh turns into yelling match

Josh Chapin Image
Tuesday, March 28, 2023
Tempers flare at Community Conversation
Tempers flare at a Raleigh Community Conversation on gun violence and prevention efforts. Josh Chapin reports.

RALEIGH, N.C. (WTVD) -- Frustration and anger was front and center Monday night about gun violence and policing.

Raleigh residents expressed their concerns face to face with top leaders including Raleigh Mayor Mary-Ann Baldwin and Police Chief Estella Patterson.

The conversation at Saint Mark's Episcopal Church started calmly but emotions boiled over into the night and the conversation was stopped early.

"I drove 80 miles to come over to this meeting to sit here for 20 minutes," said David Brooks, who drove from Person County.

Brooks wanted to be part of a discussion especially after his son, David was shot and killed by Roxboro Police in 2020.

"Here we are tonight allowing ignorance to still dictate the the show: it doesn't make sense," he said. "I don't care what color, what nationality you are, let's erase the ignorance from the equation. It's gotta be done. Either you are part of the problem or part of the solution and what we had tonight was part of the problem," he said.

The conversation was organized by Diana Powell, executive director of Justice Served.

"Our children are the ones getting killed," she said. "We did try and now we see: we see. My thing is until we deal with all our trauma we're going to stay stuck right here."

Chief Patterson and the mayor were joined on the panel by District Attorney Lorrin Freeman, Sheriff Willie Rowe and others like entrepreneur Quincy Goodman.

"Granted they were wrong for how they went about doing it but I understand they are anxious, they want answers," he said. "It's not every day you can get to a meeting with the chief and voice your opinion."

Mayor Baldwin said after the meeting she supports the chief and is doing everything in her power to build relationships in the community.

She also said "A lot of people left disappointed including myself. We were there to have a conversation and a small group of people took over with shouting and yelling and that's not why we were there."

Related Topics