Citizens share personal stories about police in Lynchburg’s first series of listening sessions

Next listening session will be at Diamond Hill Center on Wednesday

LYNCHBURG, Va. – Lynchburg Police Chief Ryan Zuidema is taking the first steps to help the Black communities in the Hill City heal, hoping to bridge the gap in Lynchburg’s neighborhoods.

In the first of many listening sessions, people spoke about their personal experiences with police officers.

Under a big white tent at Jefferson Park Wednesday, more than a dozen Lynchburg residents shared their personal stories with police.

And officers had no choice but to listen.

In the first of many listening sessions--- people spoke about their personal experiences with police officers. (Copyright 2020 by WSLS 10 - All rights reserved.)

“Like law enforcement when they’re called, they already have this aggression against black men when they see them, and I guess it breaks my heart,” one woman said.

With help of a moderator, one-by-one, people spoke their mind.

“I felt good about it. I felt that you didn’t have to hold back. I just think that there were some things that people have been holding onto, like myself, that the department needed to hear,” Lynchburg resident Michelle Dancy said.