Election 2016

Police And Black Lives Matter Hold A Cookout

With all the challenging, sad, worrisome, and heartbreaking news rolling out lately...we are incredibly happy to see this kind of news. Thank you, NPR News, for sharing this story.

A Wichita police officer poses with residents at the First Steps Community Cookout on Sunday. Wichita Police

A Wichita police officer poses with residents at the First Steps Community Cookout on Sunday. Wichita Police

Members of the Wichita, Kan., police department spent Sunday afternoon eating and talking with people from the community, at a cookout that was planned with the local Black Lives Matter group.

The event was called the First Steps Community Cookout — a reference to its goal of bridging the gap between police and the community they serve. Taking place instead of a protest that had been planned for Sunday, the cookout came about after Wichita Police Chief Gordon Ramsay had a lengthy meeting with activist A.J. Bohannon and other members of the local Black Lives Matter movement.

Bohannon told member station KMUW that the cookout gained even more importance after news emerged of a gunman's deadly attack on police officers in Baton Rouge on Sunday morning.

"We can get on the same page and say those things that are in Baton Rouge don't trickle over into Wichita, Kan.," Bohannan told KMUW. "My heart goes out to the families, those officers in Baton Rouge, but I think the fact that that did happen makes this event more meaningful. I definitely think this is a start for this community, and I definitely want to keep it going."

Read the full story by Bill Chappell HERE published on July 19th, 2016 on NPR News.