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Activists and police come together for community cookout

Black Lives Matter activists and the Wichita Police Department tackled important issues while having fun

The Black Lives Matter activists in Kansas were set to have a peaceful protest when another idea came about. Instead of the demonstration, activists and the Wichita Police Department united for their first friendly cookout.

In a month that has seen an increase of violence between citizens and police, the First Steps Community Cookout was a day of fun that allowed officers and the community to enjoy barbecue and dancing, but also tackled the issues at hand. Wichita police Chief Gordon Ramsay spent time listening to and addressing the questions and concerns of community members. In the end, the successful cookout was viewed as a first step in bridging an evident divide between police and citizens that exists not just in Wichita, but all over the country.

“I want to say a sincere thank you to everybody who participated, helped and donated and made this a true success for Wichita,” Ramsay said in a Facebook video. “I do want to challenge other police departments and communities to do the same thing with a First Steps Community Cookout.”

Watch highlights of the cookout below.

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Maya Jones is an associate editor at The Undefeated. She is a native New Orleanian who enjoys long walks down Frenchmen Street and romantic dates to Saints games.