Ad Spot

Pelham forum addresses deadly encounters with law enforcement

By NATHAN HOWELL | Special to the Reporter 

PELHAM – With several deadly encounters between minority individuals and law enforcement weighing heavily on the nation, residents of Pelham gathered for a citywide forum on Sunday, June 28, to bring city officials, law enforcement and citizens together to discuss how to avoid these situations.

The event called “Standing United for Progress,” was held at the Pelham Civic Complex, and was organized by Kenneth Paschal of the Alabama Family Rights Association in cooperation with city officials to allow residents of Pelham to make their voices heard on how they perceive what is going on nationally and addressing it on a local scale.

“If we can focus on what we can do to alleviate the tension or deadly encounters for the people who live and shop in Pelham, we can deal with any other issues,” Paschal began.

Prior to the forum, Paschal asked community members to take the “Be the Change Survey” which was designed with a series of questions to understand what the community would like to see happen to limit deadly encounters.

The results of the survey said that citizens believe better parenting and teaching respect is how they can enact change in their lives. For police officers, responders suggested things like deescalation training, tracking officers with a pattern of bad behavior and transparency through the use of cameras.

During the forum there was a “Walk in Our Shoes” panel that featured male and female members of different racial communities, law enforcement and city officials. The panelists discussed their interactions with polices officers, as well as how they experienced racism and discrimination in their lives.

Pelham Police Chief Pat Cheatwood was invited to be part of the panel. He said that the most important way to limit deadly or tense encounters with citizens is through communication.

Mayor Gary Waters spoke at the event, explaining that he holds all city officials to a higher standard and said that the city “should be striving to rid once and for all, all disparities between races.”

The forum was an opportunity for the community to come together and try to create solutions in an otherwise tumultuous environment. Despite the threat of COVID-19, and the deadly shootings seen across the national news the local community had an opportunity to air their grievances and present real solutions.

“Our country is in turmoil right now,” Paschal said. “But turmoil is part of life. We are going to weather the storm and do it the right way, we are going to set the standard for the entire country to follow.”

On July 6, Paschal will present the results of the survey to the Pelham City Council, so that they can take the results of forum and the survey attempt to make real change in the community.

Columbiana

Investigation under way following death of Shelby man

Montevallo

Montevallo seeking more grant funding to continue energy upgrades

Alabaster Main Story

Barks and Brews: Shelby Humane and Interstellar partner for benefit

280 Main Story

Chelsea approves new fire transport unit, honors 9U baseball champs

Montevallo

Parnell Library launches free toddler music class

News

Wilton to hold public hearing on community development needs

280 Main Story

Plans for proposed subdivisions near Chelsea, Columbiana approved

Alabaster Main Story

Joe Sparacino ready to take over as Calera head baseball coach

Alabaster Main Story

Beulah Mae’s opens restaurant in Alabaster

Alabaster Main Story

Secretary of State holding free voter ID event in Alabaster

280 Main Story

Regions Tradition Birdies for Charity raises $1 million

280 Reporter

Shelby Humane hosting “Clear the Shelter” adoption event

Alabaster Main Story

Children discover ‘God’s Great Light’ at Camp Branch VBS

Alabaster Main Story

Alabaster City Schools invests $5 million in school improvements

Alabaster Main Story

Columbiana to host job fair in August

Helena

Kids enjoy Rock and Roll Playground at Old Town Live

280 Main Story

Asbury’s Summer Institute to explore Eastern Orthodox Christianity

Events

Friday Nights at the Cove to wrap up with Red Hot Rodeo

Alabaster Main Story

God Did It Ministries motorcycle ride raises money for community efforts

Calera

Inaugural Calera Cruise-In logs miles of fun

280 Main Story

‘Something different:’ Greek Street serves up Athens-inspired fare

Calera

Irvin shadows Main Street programs, businesses to benefit students through Career Corps

Alabaster Main Story

New Alabaster Water facility holds ribbon cutting

Columbiana

Riding for a reason