Hands shot into the air during a discussion panel on police and rights during the Black Student Union’s meeting Tuesday.
Panel members included Officer Edward McNamara, advisory board member with the Riley County Police Department, Officer Randy Myles from the Kansas State University Police Department and Ryan Kelly, sophomore in civil engineering and communication studies.
Attendees were encouraged to ask questions or voice concerns over communications with police officers.
“Right now, I think we have a good relationship with the community,” McNamara said. “We want to keep that up and continue to build on that existing foundation.”
Topics of the discussion ranged from traffic stop proceedings, basic police guidelines, racial profiling, the Black Lives Matter movement and how to report any issues or complaints.
“I hope attendees gained knowledge of their Fourth Amendment right and understand that their Fourth Amendment right governs law enforcement and their actions while on the job,” Myles said. “I want students to understand that we care, and, as part of this community, we are here to make sure they feel safe.”
The K-State Police Department is involved with other programs to ensure they are well connected to the community, including Community Safety Talks, Safe Zone Training and active shooter training. McNamara said students can get involved with the RCPD by attending community discussions.
“Knowing your rights has been a prominent issue, especially for black males in the past couple years,” said Darrell Reese, president of BSU and junior in mechanical engineering. “It’s an important topic for us to know our rights and know how to act in these situations. If we just have a better knowledge of these situations, then hopefully we can help ourselves become safer during those times.”
The next BSU meeting will be held in the week after Thanksgiving break.