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SC State brings together students, public and law enforcement to talk about creating better relationships

The university hosted a panel discussion on the relationship between law enforcement and minority communities in light of Tyre Nichols.

ORANGEBURG, S.C. — As many in the public look for answers in the death of a Memphis man, Tyre Nichols, at the hand of police, South Carolina State hosted a panel discussion. 

The discussion was held at the university Tuesday night with members of the community, students and law enforcement members. 

The conversation began with listening to people and their reactions to the video the Memphis Police Department released.  The video shows officers beating Nichols who later died of his injuries. 

Students and community members talked about how to move forward.

"The most important thing is to educate, so people know how to deal with law enforcement and it lets law enforcement know some of the concerns of the community. So that we kind of bridge the gap and the misunderstandings that constantly happen in minority communities," Chelsea Glover an Orangeburg attorney said.

Community members took advantage to ask questions about the graphic video they saw and to talk about relationships with law enforcement.

"I couldn't not look at the screen. Because the thought of seeing someone and knowing they were going to be dead was too traumatic for me," an attendee said.

Students also reflected on their own experiences with law enforcement. 

"I've been stopped by the police before and immediately put my hands out the window and just know that sometimes that's not enough," a student said.

During the discussion, panel members also discussed resources and what to do following an encounter with law enforcement.

"It's really important if they think their rights are violated that they immediately right down what happened and that they take photographs of injuries and that they seek medical attention if they need it and they reach out," Jace Woodrum with the ACLU said.

Glover added understanding the law for yourself is important.

"Stay, safe, stay protected, stay knowledgeable have a firm understanding of what the law are," she said.

The panelists added the conversation shouldn't end there and added resources are available if you have a negative encounter with police.

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