The Black Law Student Association (BLSA) and the Student Bar Association (SBA) at WMU-Cooley Law School’s Grand Rapids campus held a panel discussion on July 22 about recent police violence.
Kenyata McGill, Grand Rapids campus BLSA president, made the opening remarks and thanked the panel for attending. The panel included Yvonne Briley-Wilson, local attorney; Ralph Mason, former law enforcement officer; David Rahinsky, Grand Rapids Police Department chief; and Bryan Blakely, commission chair for the Kent County Black Caucus. They discussed with WMU-Cooley Law School students the concerns regarding recent police shootings.
“There is a chasm between law enforcement officers and community members, specifically young black men,” said Bailey Vos, SBA president. “We don't believe that the chasm was intentional, but the first step towards rectifying the situation is communication about what is happening. We specifically wanted to talk about when that divide began and how it can be remedied.”