The Men of Vision and Excellence (M.O.V.E.) hosted an informational panel with Statesboro law enforcement Wednesday night at the Russell Union called Unarmed and Dangerous.
The event was hosted for students to come and listen to local law enforcement about laws, policies, procedures and minority engagement.
The panel included Dr. Amir Jamal Touré, an African studies program professor at Savannah State University, Anderson Johnson, a senior mechanical engineering Georgia Southern student, and two local police officers named Eric Riner and Dexter Renfroe.
Throughout the panel, these five individuals each got a chance to answer a set of questions that were provided by M.O.V.E. throughout the whole night.
“I’m saying for African-Americans, if there's no lights on them, they still feel some tension, when they see that police car, that deputy car that's behind them and that's a problem we have to deal with right now,” Dr. Touré said. “We deal with an environment right now where we have fear, we have concern and the issue of trust.”
Johnson echoed these sentiments with his own thoughts about the relationship between minorities and law enforcement.
“I don’t have a problem with law enforcement, now even before all these situations dealing with law enforcement and black men being killed, I always had that fear whenever an officer car got behind me because I didn't want to get a ticket.”
After a few questions, students got to hear personal experiences from law enforcement while hearing how they feel about everything that's been going on with law enforcement in recent media. Riner emphasized the importance of treating others with respect in his profession.
“I want to be treated with respect, and I believe everyone should be treated with respect, and I’ve investigated a lot of cases and I’ve sat across from people that’s done anyhting from simple theft to child molestation to murder and when I speak to them I always try to speak to them like I would want to be spoken to,” Riner said. “I don’t yell, I don’t cuss at them, I don’t try to belittle them in any way.
At the end of the event, the Statesboro law enforcement officers encouraged students to come to the GS Police Department if they have any more questions regarding their rights when interacting with police.
Elijah Jackson, The George-Anne Sports Reporter, firstname.lastname@example.org