Sacramento Kings players DeMarcus Cousins, Rudy Gay, Matt Barnes and Garrett Temple hosted a private panel Monday (Nov. 7), in an effort to help bridge relations between the Sacramento, Calif., community and law enforcement. The seminar brought approximately 150 high-schoolers together with policemen privately, in hopes of developing a better understanding of each other.
Students raised concerns about why tensions are high between the two entities. The discussion definitely left an impression on the officers and kids present. “The men and women that spoke were very powerful,” said NBA Security Representative Dwight Pruitt, who’s a former Sacramento Sheriff. “They were direct and they were open, and the message was clear to us.”
— Roseville CA Police (@RSVL_Police) November 8, 2016
“Yeah, I learned there’s fear in the community still,” said the Deputy Chief Ken Bernard, “We have a lot of work as a profession to break down those barriers.”
— Sacramento Kings (@SacramentoKings) November 8, 2016
All-Star Kings center, DeMarcus Cousins, talked about how this is only the beginning of the process, after holding a similar event in his home-town of Mobile, Ala. Since witnessing the success of Carmelo Anthony’s organized event in Compton, Calif., Cousins decided to take action. “Just listening to the kids, just listening to the community, it touched me and I understood,” said the 26-year-old. “I wanted to bring it back to where I’m from and the city I live in, as well.”
“I think it was a beautiful thing, it was a positive thing and I think it was steps in the right direction, it won’t be the last time.” Cousins echoed.
Check out a clip from the post-meeting Q&A below.