Raleigh police work to build trust during National Night Out, as community says it's a start

Akilah Davis Image
Wednesday, August 2, 2023
Raleigh police use NNO as chance to build trust within communities
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RPD says it continues to take steps to bridge the gap with the community, such as Coffee with a Cop, community conversations and career day.

RALEIGH, N.C. (WTVD) -- As National Night Out takes place across Oak City, there is an ongoing conversation about the work being done to build trust between law enforcement and communities, especially in communities of color.

"I feel like they don't care about the Black community," said 15-year-old Mijaya Hooker. She lives in Southeast Raleigh is has already drawn conclusions about law enforcement based on seeing stories of unarmed Black people killed at the hands of police officers.

ABC11 asked her what officers can do to earn her trust.

"Give Black people a chance," she said.

Her mom, Jessica Signal, said she still questions the January death of Darryl Williams in Raleigh. He died after officers used a stun gun on him multiple times while taking him into custody.

"When they made his case homicide, why ain't no charges been out," she questioned.

The Wake County District Attorney found the officers' use of force was warranted and legal. Signal still questions if RPD truly has her best interest at heart.

"When the police is called to the south side, I don't think they come to serve and protect. They come here already aggressive," she said.

ABC11 Neighborhood Safety and Crime Tracker

It's a tale of two cities within one. Over in the Cedar Crest community. Officers were outside playing spades with community members. Inside the community center, they were engaging in a game of bingo.

Southeast Raleigh resident Gwen Winters told ABC11 it's the norm.

"They come over here and they patrol. They come over here and join in any activities we have. We're thankful for them. They're a big help to us," said Winters.

ABC11 asked Raleigh police what are their words to community members who say they aren't doing enough. Captain Robert Latour said RPD continues taking steps to bridge the gap with the community. He said Coffee with a Cop, community conversations and career day helps.

"We can always do more. I can't argue that point, but I can tell you it is a priority for us to be in the community. Our highest priority is the reduction of violent crime. That's the biggest push I have in the Southeast district," said Captain Robert Latour with RPD.

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