#AtlantaUnite panel sparks conversation among city leaders

Channel 2 hosted the #ATLANTAUNITE panel. Photo Credit | Chelse Brown
Channel 2 hosted the #ATLANTAUNITE panel. Photo Credit | Chelse Brown
Channel 2 hosted the #ATLANTAUNITE panel.
Photo Credit | Chelse Brown

The City of Atlanta are searching for ways to prevent police shootings.

Atlanta residents, activists, city officials and Mayor of Atlanta Kasim Reed attended WSBTV Channel 2 Action News’ “Atlanta Unite” prime time special for a city wide conversation about race relations, police and community on July 19.

The first question that sparked the heated debate was when Mary Hook, the president of Black Lives Matter Atlanta answered the question, “What is that Black Lives Matter want?”

“The demands of the protesters should be heard, progressive thinking and mayors to make a change,”she said.

Activists had an opportunity to address Reed. Some suggestions included mental health screenings for policeman, thorough police investigations of deadly incidents and police officers possibly changing challenging routes to avoid neighbor interactions that’s too hard to task.

Since multiple protests happened last week from Atlanta’s streets to highways, Reed said he understands protesting. However, his only issue is when protesters walk on the freeway unexpectedly, because it put the lives of all parties at risk.

“A lot of college students from the AUC center, Georgia Tech, Georgia State and Emory was on the freeway that night and I would’ve been devastated if anything happened to them,” he said.

Jake Aull, Georgia State Marketing Department Social Media Strategist, said he saw his students turn to social media when a deadly shooting happens.

“Social media work as organized protest,” Aull said.

At the end of the show the panel offered suggestions on how the community can move forward.

“It takes listening, moving forward and getting to know one another,” Rev. Raphael G. Warnock, Ph.D of Ebenezer Baptist Church said.