Stockton Police Host Forum on Community Trust

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STOCKTON-

Communities and cops across he country are divided after deadly confrontations in Ferguson and New York City.

For people in Stockton Thursday night, it was all about building trust so similar violence doesn't repeat itself in the Central Valley.

The Chief of Police told FOX40 the panel was an effort to hear from the community and also take action against crime.

“My son James was beat up,” a Stockton mother claimed.

“I still got (sic) no closure,” another woman explained to the community inside God’s Throne Baptist Church.

Heated questions and statements from Stockton residents Thursday night, a community whose trust in their city’s Police Department has been shaky.

“I came here to hear what he (Chief of Police) had to say and what could take place from it,” Sharon Haynes, a Stockton resident told us.

Haynes and her family said they also wanted a sense of justice from the police-community relations panel.

“There’s nothing that’s going to ease the concern until there’s something done,” Marcus Haynes, Sharon’s son and Stockton resident said.

The family said, their son and brother, Donald Ray died after police officers shot him in 2014.

“They said he had a knife and he never had a knife and his arm was broke (sic) and they shot him,” Marcus said.

Community leaders addressed issues and outlined their own thoughts on building trust.

“To encourage the community not to be afraid of the police… irregardless (sic) of their immigration status,” Jose Rodriguez, the President of El Concilio told the crowd.

Yet, for a community who has felt injustice for so long, some argue a panel is not the end-all to violence in the city. “This is just the very beginning of really moving our community forward to again not only to increase trust but also how are we going to reduce crime,” Chief of Police Eric Jones said.

But others argue, it’s a good first step, “I hope so. I think… I’m going to be positive about it,” Sharon explained.

Police say they’re looking to host more of these panels and take action.