BLM Wanted To Protest, Police Chief Gives Them Something Better To Do

Racial divide continues to spread with a rhetoric that pits cop against civilian after the police-involved shootings of Alton Sterling and Philando Castile, which added fuel to the Black Lives Matter movement. As protests sweep our nation, innocent officers are losing their lives, so it’s no wonder that a police chief decided to give BLM activists something else to do when they told him they were planning a protest.

Chief Gordon Ramsay (left), BLM protesters (right)
Chief Gordon Ramsay (left), BLM protesters (right)

A.J. Bohannon, a local Black Lives Matter (BLM) activist, told the chief of the Wichita, Kansas police force that he was planning a protest on Sunday, The Blaze reports. However, he didn’t get the response he initially hoped for. Chief Gordon Ramsay had another idea and decided to suggest a counter-offer — a cookout.

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During an event called the First Steps Community Cookout, which is a reference to its goal of bridging the gap between police and the community they serve, members of the police department spent Sunday afternoon eating and talking with people from the community.

The day the cookout occurred, a gunman launched a deadly ambush attack on police officers in Baton Rouge, killing three. Bohannon, the BLM activist who helped plan the cookout, told Wichita’s NPR-affiliated radio station KMUW that the cookout gained even more importance after news of the attack in Baton Rouge emerged Sunday morning.

“We can get on the same page and say those things that are in Baton Rouge don’t trickle over into Wichita, Kansas,” he explained. “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.”

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Photos and video from the event began to spread across social media, showing smiling officers and residents, dancing and playing basketball at McAdams Park. Eventually, receiving more attention than the Taylor-Kanye-Kim feud on Twitter as Wichita Mayor Jeff Longwell was quick to point out in a tweet.

There was more to the event than fun and games, however. As The Kansas City Star reports, three men sat at one table, all from different ethnicities. A black man, a Hispanic man, and a white man sat next to police Lt. Travis Rakestraw to share their ideas over a few burgers. Although the scene might not have looked remarkable, “It was the first time since 1992 that Jarvis Scott, the black man, said he’d sat down with a police officer, and the other two said it was their first time ever sitting down with an officer,” according to the news source.

At the close of the event, along with Chief Ramsay’s thank-you to those who came, he issued a challenge to other police departments — hold similar barbecues with their communities. “It takes two parties to make a healthy relationship,” the police chief explained.

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As the tweets about the barbecue continued to spread across Twitter, one user wrote, “This makes me happy! First time in a while that anything in the news made me smile. There is hope,” which points to a bigger problem in our society that we have the power to solve.

As mainstream media provides copious coverage any time it is perceived that an officer has done something “wrong,” even before an investigation or all evidence is available, we must make sure we give equal attention to the things they do right. The good really does far outweigh the bad.

About Christy Parker, Opinion Columnist 518 Articles
Christy is a Christian conservative wife, mother, writer, and business owner. After almost 20 years in healthcare, she retired from the field to pursue what she felt was her calling. With the support of her husband, she successfully ventured into a rewarding career as a news commentator, opinion columnist, and editor. She's passionate about her faith, traditional Christian values, family, and the Second Amendment.