JACKSONVILLE, Fla. -- There's a conversation taking place in many homes all across the U.S. on the heels of Michael Brown's funeral. In Jacksonville Tuesday evening, nearly 500 people crowded into St. Paul Missionary Baptist Church on Winton Drive. They spoke directly with members of the Jacksonville Sheriff's Office about how law enforcement is now viewed by the community. The goal was to build bridges and to destroy the divide.
Deputies from the Jacksonville Sheriff's Office answered questions not just from concerned parents, but kids as well. Some people don't feel that law enforcement is on their side.
Kelly Edwards was among hundreds of parents who brought their children to St. Paul Church of Jacksonville hoping to open up the lines of communication between young people and police.
Her only son, 16-year-old Che Jinkins Jr., says tonight he learned the best ways to interact with officers.
A message hammered home was practicing mutual respect.
"They're not our enemies. They're just trying to help. We shouldn't go against them because they're just trying to be here for us and protect us," Jinkins said.
Following an hour long dialogue Jinkins says his outlook towards police officers has changed.
He's also a member of a group called Save Our Sons, they helped to organize Tuesday's gathering.The community organization helps to teach young men life skills.
Jinkins is in his second year with the program and his mother says she's seen a change his attitude and their own relationship as well.
More about Save Our Sons:
Phone: (904) 595-6105