National Black Lives Matter organization says it does not support First Step Barbecue
The national co-founder of the BlackLivesMatter organization says she does not support last weekend's "first step barbecue."
The event let the community and Wichita police officers talk about ways to improve relations between the department and minority communities.
"The group of people who had a BBQ with the police are not affiliated with BlackLivesMatter," said Patrisse Cullors, co-founder of the national organization.
A tweet from the D.C. chapter of BlackLivesMatter said the BBQ is not in line with the principals of the national organization. Cullors said the event in Wichita doesn't bring about change.
"We don't sit on panels with law enforcement, and we don't have BBQ's or cookouts with law enforcement. We feel the best method at this point in history is by holding police accountable by organizing and advocating for police accountability," Collors said.
Wichita organizer Djuan Wash said the movement in Wichita is about saving lives.
"It's not about who's credit, who has that organization, who has that organization, whether or not we stand in line with their principles and different things like that," said Wash. "We never once said we were a black lives matter organization."
Organizer A.J. Bohannon agrees with Cullor on changing laws, but he says the way they are going about it here in Wichtia works for this community.
"What's good for Wichita, Kansas may not be the same thing that's good for Washington D.C., those people aren't here in Wichita. They don't know the pulse, and the temperature of this community, and the ways they interact with their police officers and elected officials is not the same way we have to, or chose to interact here in Wichita," Bohannon said.