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Mike Brown Sr. On Community, Police And Keeping His Son's Memory Alive

Blue light atop a law enforcement vehicle
Getty Images/iStockphoto
Nearly 200 pedestrians have been struck and killed by drivers along Louisville's roadways since 2014.

The 2014 death of 17-year-old Michael Brown Jr. in Ferguson, Missouri turned attention to fatal police shootings of African-Americans across the country.

Last week, Brown’s father — Mike Brown Sr. — was in Louisville to meet with the family of a Louisville man shot and killed by police last year.

I spoke with him about the impact his son’s death has had on the national conversation around race and police relations. Listen to our conversation in the player above.

On how his son's death changed the conversation around police and race:

"He really brought a lot of attention to, you know, the things that people just weren't paying attention to. You know, a lot of people's eyes are open now — some people's eyes went back shut, which is sad. But that's the reality of all of it.  You know, my mission is just to keep his name alive — which is my name — and fight for what's right."

On what he sees as the most successful way to improve police-community relations:

"We have to get back to where community and police interact, you know. We have to start by getting people in our communities that live in that area, you know, to start policing those communities instead of bringing people way out from the boondocks that don't have no idea what they're doing, never interacted with black people — and throw them out there with no knowledge of approaching a different race, you know.

"So, where we at is just trying to get them and the community to get back in action — as far as like, you know police getting out their car, tossing football, jumping rope with the community, you know. We have a whole lot of work to do on both ends — it ain't just police, it's us, too."

Jacob Ryan is the managing editor of the Kentucky Center for Investigative reporting. He's an award-winning investigative reporter who joined LPM in 2014. Email Jacob at jryan@lpm.org.

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