Friday, April 20, 2018
News Roundup

Conversation about race, policing in St. Pete gets heated

ST. PETERSBURG — A panel discussion at a black history museum Thursday night started on a heated note and only got hotter, reminding both the guests and speakers that conversations about race are almost always complicated.

Titled "Don't Shoot," the event at the Dr. Carter G. Woodson African American Museum invited locals to participate in a "community conversation" about gun violence after the shooting death of a young black man by a white police officer in Ferguson, Mo.

Nearly 50 people arrived to listen to and talk with the panelists, Luke Williams, assistant chief of the St. Petersburg Police Department; Dallas Jackson, principal of Sligh Middle Magnet School in Tampa; and LaShante Keys, diversity and equity manager for the city of Clearwater.

Museum director Terri Lipsey Scott spoke first about the importance of conversations about race.

"Typically we find ourselves talking to ourselves," she said to an audience that was mostly African-American. "Tonight is designed for one purpose, and that is to get ahead of something."

Before handing off the microphone, she asked the crowd to remain respectful. The civility didn't last long.

Museum office manager Cranstan Cumberbatch spoke of the tension between residents and the police force, and the importance of teaching children to trust law enforcement, not fear it.

"But it's not just about being shot by a police officer," he said. "It's about being shot by each other."

Almost immediately, attendees shot up their hands, took the microphone and aired their frustrations with the concept of "black on black" crime, saying that when a white man shoots another white man, it isn't called "white on white" crime.

The tension in the room only escalated. The conversation bounced from the importance of early intervention in education to parental involvement to economic inequality.

Williams fielded many questions, emphasizing that under newly appointed Chief Tony Holloway, the police force will be more integrated into the community.

"In order to be a part of your community, you can't be apart from your community," he said.

After some people left the room, Keys, who grew up in St. Petersburg, tried to bring the room together. He called for solutions.

One young woman said encouraging young people to vote is essential. Another, an employee at Melrose Elementary, challenged the room to volunteer or mentor young kids. Francette Mohamed-Moore, an art student in Atlanta who grew up in St. Petersburg, said the answer is just to listen.

Scott said this will not be the last time the museum holds a community conversation about race.

"There will be another opportunity," she said.

Contact Katie Mettler at [email protected] or (727) 893-8913.

Comments
Man gets life sentence in Freedom High student’s 2015 shooting death

Man gets life sentence in Freedom High student’s 2015 shooting death

TAMPA — After David Brunson murdered an 18-year-old Freedom High School senior, he told a witness the victim was "just some ghetto kid nobody will miss."But people do miss Eion Gustitis.More than two years after Gustitis was shot in the head in a rem...
Updated: 1 hour ago
Tampa Bay students voice opinions on gun laws during school walkouts today

Tampa Bay students voice opinions on gun laws during school walkouts today

High school students from around the Tampa Bay area are participating in the National School Walkout today commemorating the shooting at Columbine High School in 1999 and calling for gun law reform.A large group of students from St. Petersburg High g...
Updated: 1 hour ago
One injured, suspect in custody in Ocala school shooting

One injured, suspect in custody in Ocala school shooting

OCALA — One student shot another in the ankle at a Florida high school and the suspected shooter is in custody, authorities said Friday.The Marion County Sheriff’s Office reported that the shooting happened Friday morning at Forest High School, which...
Updated: 1 hour ago
Rowdies prepared to press on without defender David Najem

Rowdies prepared to press on without defender David Najem

SAINT PETERSBURG — When describing the loss of defender David Najem, Rowdies head coach Stuart Campbell and the player who will replace Najem chose the same word.Gutted.That settled over the Rowdies last weekend, one that was bad enough based o...
Updated: 1 hour ago
Flight attendants say ‘appalling’ Southwest flight photo confirms it — you’re not paying attention to the safety demo

Flight attendants say ‘appalling’ Southwest flight photo confirms it — you’re not paying attention to the safety demo

Mario Nunez called it a "huge shaking my head moment" when the photo inside the cabin of Southwest Airlines flight 1380 appeared on his TV.The story was about a terrifying emergency landing after an engine exploded 20 minutes into a trip from New Yor...
Updated: 1 hour ago
Owners say new house is a disaster; developer accuses them of ‘online terrorism’

Owners say new house is a disaster; developer accuses them of ‘online terrorism’

ST. PETERSBURG --- Stretched across the front of Tim and Hyun Kims’ two-year-old house is a big banner with the name of a developer and the words: "I have to fix my new house."Some of what needs fixing is instantly apparent. The front steps are too ...
Updated: 1 hour ago

Goodman: In America, truth is missing in action

It’s "Mueller Time," as the nation grows ever closer to a confrontation with the truth.Was collusion with the Russians an illusion? If not, who was involved, what was done, and when? Did it impact the 2016 campaign, the fate of Hillary Clinton and no...
Updated: 1 hour ago
Suspect in Gilchrist deputies’ slayings has Tampa Bay ties

Suspect in Gilchrist deputies’ slayings has Tampa Bay ties

The man identified as the suspect who fatally shot two Gilchrist County deputies in a restaurant Thursday afternoon before taking his own life has ties to the Tampa Bay area.Deputies say John Hubert Highnote, 59, of Bell — who was found dead outside ...
Updated: 1 hour ago
Top 5 at noon: Suspect in Gilchrist deputies’ slayings has Tampa Bay ties; man gets life sentence in Freedom High student’s 2015 shooting death; and more

Top 5 at noon: Suspect in Gilchrist deputies’ slayings has Tampa Bay ties; man gets life sentence in Freedom High student’s 2015 shooting death; and more

Here are the latest headlines and updates on tampabay.com:SUSPECT IN GILCHRIST DEPUTIES’ SLAYINGS HAS TAMPA BAY TIESThe man identified as the suspect who fatally shot two Gilchrist County deputies in a restaurant Thursday afternoon before taking his...
Updated: 1 hour ago
Today: Area high school students to join national walkout in memory of Columbine

Today: Area high school students to join national walkout in memory of Columbine

High school students from both sides of Tampa Bay will commemorate the anniversary of the Columbine High School shootings on Friday, although in very different ways. In St. Petersburg, students from several schools will gather at noon at City Hall f...
Updated: 2 hours ago