On December 12th, Youth Guidance students and staff participated in a round table discussion regarding law enforcement strategy with U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder, U.S. Attorney Zachary Fardon, Mayor Rahm Emanuel, Chicago Police Superintendent Gerry McCarthy, and Fenger High School Principal Liz Dozier.
The Chicago discussion was part of a broader national effort by Attorney General Holder to improve relationships between the police and community members. Youth Guidance students were given an opportunity to have a voice in a very critical, national conversation.
Becoming A Man (BAM) members shared their positive and negative experiences with the Chicago Police Department. One student recounted: “I’ve been stopped four or five times. I don’t know if it’s because they see me as a threat, because of what I’m wearing…”. He also stated, “One time I was in Radio Shack trying to buy a music player. I didn’t have enough money. The cop paid it for me.”
B.A.M. Counselor & Internship Coordinator Zach Strother expressed pride in his students’ eagerness to share and their poise during an important event where other topics included best practices for policing, the need for more social emotional supports for community members and greater integrity in the justice system.