Columbus citizens discuss protest plans at Black Lives Matter forum

Columbus citizens discuss protest plans at Black Lives Matter forum

COLUMBUS, GA (WTVM) - Following the arrests at this weekend's Black Lives Matter demonstration, two Columbus woman thought of a different idea to advance the movement.

Carmen Grey and Vernessa Clemons began by putting a simple flyer on Facebook with the details of a forum they planned only three days in advance.

In the hours following, their flyer had been shared more than 100 times. 

Vernessa thought it would be a great idea to invite an attorney to talk about Fourth Amendment rights and some tips for if you are involved in a traffic stop.

"Make sure you have your license registration and driver's license in an area where it is accessible to you. She suggested the visor. You should also keep your hands on the steering wheel and making sure you are not making any false or sudden moves and compiling with what the police are saying," said Katonga Wright, the managing partner of the Wright Leader Group.  

The forum allowed people to not only hear from an attorney with tips that can help encounters with police go smoothly, but also an opportunity to share ideas and plans to move forward with.

People from all walks of society were openly speaking their minds about long-term solutions for race relations between law enforcement and the community.

A notable face in attendance was Marquese "Skinny" Averett, who was one of the two people arrested in Uptown on Saturday night.

Also in attendance was Muscogee County Teacher of the Year Stefan Lawrence, whose platform is all about community unity.

"It's got to take all of us," Lawrence said. "And we owe it to them to give them the best city possible and the best way to get the best city is for everybody in Columbus to work as one." 

This was the first forum of its kind here in Columbus. Carmen and Vernessa plan on hosting similar forums in the future to continue to progress this conversation forward.

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