MSU hosts panel to help bridge gap between race and law enforcement

MSU hosted its annual "Black and Blue" panel to create an open discussion between community members and local law enforcement.

Posted: Feb 10, 2021 9:57 PM

STARKVILLE, Miss. (WTVA) - As part of the school's Black History Month program, Mississippi State University (MSU) held a panel diving into some tough topics.

The National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) and Holmes Cultural Diversity Center gathered on Wednesday night to hold a panel giving individuals of the African American community a chance to ask candid questions to law enforcement in the area. 

The president of the NAACP at MSU said the panel was about bringing comfort to a not so comfortable conversation.

“In order to be comfortable, you must first be uncomfortable,” he said.

McKenzie helped put together MSU's annual Black and Blue panel, giving community members a chance to ask questions to local officers.

“We had so much civil unrest during the summer, throughout the election, things of that nature," McKenzie explained. "We really wanted to come to grounds where we could discuss and see how both sides genuinely feel about it.”

Topics ranged from police brutality to understanding what to do when being pulled over.

However, that wasn't the only focus for the discussion.

McKenzie said he also wanted attendees to get to know the officers on the panel on a personal level. He believes this connection could help bring comfort between law enforcement and citizens.

One of those officers on the panel was Starkville Assistant Police Chief, Henry Stewart.

He feels conversations like this help build a stronger community.

“We can come to a solution to help one another build a better relationship and that’s what we need to be doing,” he said.

McKenzie hopes this open discussion is a step in the right direction for the state of Mississippi and the university.

He also mentioned that his main goal for the panel was to create lasting lines of communication to bridge the gap between the "Black and Blue" communities.

Mississippi Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 512632

Reported Deaths: 10262
CountyCasesDeaths
Harrison34853555
DeSoto33162432
Hinds32556641
Jackson24830389
Rankin22442402
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Madison14874283
Jones14086247
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Lowndes11286193
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Hancock7835132
Washington7550169
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Warren6849178
Panola6746134
Neshoba6726210
Marshall6653141
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Pike5924156
Alcorn5862107
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George510180
Prentiss500884
Tippah490282
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Scott477499
Adams4766125
Tate4748116
Leflore4723144
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Wayne442772
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Marion4265112
Coahoma4227109
Leake413790
Newton395581
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Stone365666
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Winston317792
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Clay311878
Clarke301195
Calhoun284449
Holmes271289
Smith268952
Yalobusha243747
Tallahatchie231453
Greene224749
Walthall221366
Lawrence217840
Perry213356
Amite209557
Webster205148
Noxubee188642
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Carroll174441
Jefferson Davis173643
Tunica163239
Benton152639
Kemper144941
Choctaw136527
Claiborne134238
Humphreys131139
Franklin124929
Quitman107528
Wilkinson105939
Jefferson96834
Sharkey65121
Issaquena1957
Unassigned00

Alabama Coronavirus Cases

Cases: 844951

Reported Deaths: 16115
CountyCasesDeaths
Jefferson1161002006
Mobile741871379
Madison53279732
Shelby38325368
Baldwin38068589
Tuscaloosa36009641
Montgomery34482781
Lee25550263
Calhoun22585518
Morgan22451406
Etowah20013517
Marshall18777316
Houston17727425
St. Clair16875358
Limestone16135218
Cullman16044303
Elmore15904294
Lauderdale14968306
Talladega14189299
DeKalb12967269
Walker12020380
Blount10714192
Autauga10517157
Jackson10157194
Coffee9414192
Colbert9334208
Dale9018191
Tallapoosa7254201
Russell707765
Chilton7018170
Escambia6955143
Covington6932195
Franklin6340108
Chambers5783142
Marion5401130
Dallas5285209
Pike5118109
Clarke484986
Lawrence4826129
Winston4780110
Geneva4642136
Bibb434094
Barbour369480
Butler3434100
Marengo342393
Monroe337066
Randolph334367
Pickens333188
Fayette330085
Henry320666
Hale318189
Cherokee317563
Crenshaw260477
Washington256952
Cleburne254460
Lamar251253
Clay250869
Macon244764
Conecuh192762
Coosa184947
Lowndes178168
Wilcox177438
Bullock152645
Perry141840
Sumter139241
Greene130245
Choctaw93228
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