Silver Spring Public Forum On Rules of Engagement Between Police and Community (VIDEO)

In an ongoing effort to improve the relationship between police and the community, church leaders hosted this public forum where attendees asked about the rules of engagement when someone is stopped by a police officer.

But this Silver Spring mom says she’s still concerned.

“I need them [police officers] to be more present. I need them to understand that there’s a fear … We work so hard to get our children here. We work so hard to make sure they’re given what they need to be good citizens in the world,” Ceira Sterling said.

The gathering took place on May 9. Church officials hoped to facilitate positive interactions between the community and police officials. There are some basic rules when it comes to engaging with the police.

“Essentially, first of all, obey all commands, especially if they ask to see your hands. Secondly, you should just simply be very positive and not confrontational, and simply share information that they may ask of you that’s of course within the law itself,” said Montgomery County Police Assistant Chief Darryl McSwain.

This conversation, according to a church official, is in hope to eliminate encounters like the one with Freddie Gray, Eric Garner, and Michael Brown.

“The questions were asked about my son driving while black … should I be concerned? That’s mother’s heart. … It shows that we assume our young people know how to handle engagement with law enforcement, but a lot of times, they just don’t,” said Rev. Courtenay l. Miller of Norbeck Community Church.

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Aline Barros

About Aline Barros

Aline Barros is a multimedia reporter and community engagement specialist with Montgomery Community Media. She can be reached at and on Twitter at @AlineBarros2.


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