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Students have 'real talk' with law enforcement

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BATON ROUGE - Local law enforcement officials reached out to some McKinley High School students on Thursday to talk about "real issues" that police face within the community.

From understanding how to handle police officers to understanding when deadly force is used, a number of topics were up for discussion. It's a program that is put on by the national and local Black 'Prosecutors' Association.

"If you don't address the problem... it's never going to get solve, so with addressing the problems with them it solves some," said Mikael Stevenson, sophomore at McKinley High.

Students like Stevenson joined in on the discussion with law enforcement, lawyers, district attorney officials and a local judge to promote change. It's called the "real talk" where students weigh in on real issues. Students were given the opportunity to speak with police to grasp a better understanding of what really happens with law enforcement and how they're trained in handle certain situations.

"A lot of different seniors were brought up," said Stevenson  "It changed a lot of people's thoughts on you know like on racism and how cops are treating us and how they approach people when there pulling them over and shootings and different crimes that go on in the community... it changed a lot of perspectives on certain things."

"This is a first but we need more conversations like this to interact with the youth and police to get our thoughts on everything," said Jalon Jones, junior at McKinley High.

A state representative was also there to enlighten the students about real world happenings.

"Our young people see so much having on a national scene and they have so many questions and they feel targeted sometimes so its important to get the different perspectives, said State Representative Edward "Ted" James. "I think that the overall theme for today was to have a positive attitude."

It's all to help students get a better understanding and respect for law enforcement and what they do every day.

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