HENRICO COUNTY, Va. -- Hundreds gathered inside of Saint Paul’s Baptist Church Tuesday night to stand together during a public forum to discuss recent violence across the country and how it impacts Richmond.
The forum included local faith based leaders, and local/state officials like Mayor Dwight Jones, Richmond Police Chief Alfred Durham, and Henrico Police Chief Hum Cardounel, Jr.
This comes days after three Baton Rouge Police officers were shot and killed after an ambush by a former Marine.
The ambush on police comes as tensions in Baton Rouge were high following the death of Alton Sterling, who was shot and killed during an encounter with police there two weeks ago. That case is still under investigation.
Community leaders answered questions concerning policing, recent tragedies, what should parents say to their children? and what can we do to be proactive?
Officials like Mayor Jones made his stance clear about the recent tragedies across the county.
"We are not against policing, we are against bad policemen," Mayor Dwight Jones said.
"The greatest weapon we have is prayer... We need a healing in the land,” Jones added.
Chief Alfred Durham said police and the community must unite, because violence is not the answer.
"This is important… We need to talk and we need to listen, more importantly we need action, and hate is not the answer," he said.
Durham also addressed how community members should respond if they feel they are being treated unfairly by law enforcement.
“If you were stopped… You feel you are not being treated correctly. You ask that officer, to have a Sargent or a supervisor come to the scene.”