Panel discussion on Ferguson at Indiana University

(WISH Photo)

BLOMMINGTON, Ind. (WISH) – A panel aimed to open up conversation between police and students in Bloomington.

That was the main idea behind a panel discussion on IU’s campus Monday night, centered on the events that transpired in Ferguson, Missouri.

Students put on the event and invited IU Police Department’s Police Chief, Bloomington Police Department’s Police Chief to sit on the panel.

Also sitting on the panel, a professor in the Department of Criminal Justice, and a Ph.D student in higher education and associate instructor.

“To bring students and community together to talk about the issues in Ferguson, and to talk about racial perception issues as a whole. Also, to meet law enforcement in a non-pressure situation… just getting to know them on a basic level,” said Asia Harris, a grad student at IU.

At least a hundred students attended the event, which ended with a meet and greet with students and officers.

“They want to make sure something like that doesn’t happen here, and we want to make sure something like that doesn’t happen here. We are all on the same page, it’s just a matter of opening the doors to communication,” said IU Police Chief Laury Flint.

They discussed everything from what are your rights when you’re stopped by police, to when police would use force, to racial issues, especially with black men in America.

They discussed diversity on the police force itself, something they say they’re always working on.

They also discussed having a mutual respect between officers and students, how to file a complaint, and how police departments work and train.

“With technology today, a lot of the stuff we do is recorded,” said Bloomington Police Chief Michael Diekhoff.

Diekhoff said his department just recently started issuing personal video cameras, or body cameras, to officers.

“We all can learn from every incident that takes place, and I hope we do,” said Flint.

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