CHARLOTTE, NC (FOX 46) - It's been seven months since riots and protests erupted across Charlotte after the shooting death of Keith Lamont Scott by CMPD.
There's been a lot of healing since then, but in our FOX 46 Getting Results with Cops and Neighbors our station found wounds still run deep in those that are the most vulnerable and impressionable, the kids.
It's play time for the kids at Albemarke Rec Center who love just kicking it with CMPD officers!
"Oh yeah its cool.. aint nobody in trouble, aint nobody disrupting, disrespecting, getting mad."
The kids at the center all have big dreams.
“One day when we grow we’re going to be famous," one child exclaimed.
But before play time - comes class time.
Tesha Boyd, Ms. T as she's affectionately called, is the driving force behind a wonderful program that meets every Wednesday.
"One thing I want to do is empower our youth. We teach about real life, real life things that they go through everyday. We teach life skills. We teach coping skills and mechanisms," Boyd said.
CMPD Captain Nelson Bowling calls Ms. T an angel. She comes to the gatherings on her own time and feeds the children out of her own pocket.
"They have her utmost respect. When she comes here she’s able to teach them respect," Capt. Bowling said.
And that was their most recent lesson - respect.
Ms. T brought CMPD in to interact with the kids only recently.
“I realized that the children were afraid of the police officers and it was merely based on what they saw thru the media, and one of the things that they really talk a lot about is the Keith Lamont Scott murder," she said.
Keith Scott was shot and killed by a CMPD officer in September 2016. Rioting and protests around Charlotte followed.
“I asked them what do you think about it. How do you feel about it, and what can we do about it. And that’s when they poured out their souls about we don’t want to die, we want to be police officers but we don’t want to die. So we reached out to CMPD because that really tugged at my heart," Boyd said.
"We saw from September 2016 we needed to have some real conversations and if we can start these conversations at 6-years-old to 16-years-old we know we’re able to touch a lot of lives," Capt. Bowling said.
The kids were a little intimidated at first Ms. T said, but now they look forward to seeing the officers every week.
“We like the police coming out here, helping us and playing kickball with us," one child said.
“We just don’t want them to see us when the blue lights are running and the sirens are sounding. We want them to know that we’re there for them..anytime..and they don’t have to be afraid of us," Capt. Bowling said.
MS. T and CMPD continue to work together to get results and break down barriers with the kids at the Albermarle Rec Center. Ms. T's organization is Project Youth Development. If you would like to help her get results, CLICK HERE!