Let the listening tour begin.
Raleigh Mayor Nancy McFarlane on Tuesday announced seven community meetings that will attempt to restore the public’s trust with the city in the wake of two officer-involved shootings this year that left two 24-year-old black men dead.
Police Chief Cassandra Deck-Brown held four meetings earlier this year as part of her “Face-to-Face: A Community Dialogue” series that aimed to identify ways the police department could improve.
McFarlane said the city hopes to gather feedback not only about police practices but on any subject that residents are concerned about, from housing to traffic and development.
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“This is really about the community and what the community is feeling,” she said. “It’s not our job to sit at the table talking. It’s our job to listen.”
The first meetings are scheduled from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. Nov. 14 at Marbles Kids Museum in downtown Raleigh and Nov. 16 at Millbrook Exchange Park. The city is still in the process of finalizing dates and times for the other meetings.
Raleigh has hired a facilitator to run the meetings, which council members and city staff members are expected to attend. McFarlane said residents who attend the meetings will be asked to take a seat at a table, where facilitators will lead discussions about various topics.
“We’ll see what’s important to the community,” she said.
Some residents called for changes to police policy after Feb. 29, when an officer chased and fatally shot Akiel Denkins in Southeast Raleigh. Denkins was wanted for failing to appear in court on a felony drug charge.
Activists rallied at City Hall after an officer fatally shot Jaqwan Julius Terry during a shootout Aug. 29. During the confrontation, an officer was also shot and wounded.