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Upcoming town hall meeting focuses on police in the community

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LA CROSSE, Wis. (WXOW) - In the aftermath of the George Floyd protests, and the continuing calls for racial and social justice, the City of La Crosse hosts a Virtual Town Hall to focus on the role of police in the community.

The town hall will be on Wednesday, August 19, from 6 PM- 8 PM.

Panelists will include city officials and community members who will discuss their efforts to improve life for La Crosse's diverse population.

Panelists will be from the following local groups:

Ebony Hyter, a Community Health/Social Worker for St. Clare Health, is part of the panel. Hyter said she hopes that the town hall creates a partnership and connection between city officials and the diverse community of La Crosse.

"I hope that we can get Black people who are not in the professional community to attend these town hall meetings. I think it is important for this group of people to ask questions and get their voices heard. That is what I hope for the community," said Hyter.

The town hall will be live-streamed which allows community members to submit their questions right then and there for answers.

La Crosse resident Michaela Butowski said she is interested in attending the virtual town meeting.

"I think this town hall meeting is a much-needed discussion," Butowski said. "I feel that a lot of people suffer because the system does them wrong. This county silences their voices."

Mayor Tim Kabat said tough conversations about policing and systemic racism are essential.

"I do think the challenge as a white person is to take that step back, and for me, it's really and trying to listen and understand and not necessarily coming up with a solution or try to think like, 'Oh I get it,'" said Mayor Kabat. "These tough topics will be an ongoing learning experience of trying to understand what's going on from someone else's perspective."

The online virtual meeting will be accessible for view and online chat participation by visiting this LifesizeCloud link and visiting the City of La Crosse Police Department's Facebook live video.

Lindsey Ford

Lindsey Ford is a multi-media journalist.

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