Englewood Movie Sparks Discussion between Teens and Police at Ch
CAP’s Can You Hear Me Now? Program Bridges the Gap between Law Enforcement and Young People
More than 200 youth and police officers from throughout the Chicago Metropolitan Area came together to screen and discuss the movie, “Englewood: Growing Pains in Chicago” during a Can You Hear Me Now? meeting sponsored by Chicago Area Project’s Youth as Resources on November 14, 2013. The CAP/YAR Can You Hear Me Now? program is designed to bridge the gap between law enforcement and young people by providing communication opportunities for both teens and police officers.
In “Englewood: Growing Pains in Chicago,” Actor/Filmmaker William Cochran blends humor, romance, tragedy and hope in a tale of three friends struggling to get through their last year of high school amid street violence, peer pressure and family dysfunction. Following the screening, audience members asked the Cochran questions including this one: “Love was the theme of the movie; either they felt as if they weren’t loved or that they had the necessary support. Was this intentional?”
The Can You Hear Me Now? meeting also featured small group break out sections. Each group was asked to act out a situation, and then discuss it. For example, one situation featured a young man who is stopped by the police while walking home from school. Because he is late for school, the student initially attempts to avoid conversation, ignoring the police vehicle cruising at his side. When addressed the student tells the officers that he is on his way home from school and is in a hurry. The officers proceed to ask him to stop and hint towards a search of person. The discussion questions for this situation included: What rights do the civilians have in this situation?; In what manner should the young man address the officers (language, body gestures, etc.) to avoid being stopped?; When do the police have the ability to force a citizen of any age to become subject to search, restraint, detainment, etc.?
The CAP/YAR Can Your Hear Me Now? program uses interactive communication techniques to foster better communication between law enforcement and teens and young adults. These meetings help initiate and maintain long-term relationships between police departments and the youth in the communities they serve. The young people also broaden their understand of police department techniques and procedures.
Chicago Area Project’s Youth As Resources is committed to exploring ways to bridge the communication gap by hosting open dialogues, town hall meetings, public service announcements and other creative and informed activities. The intent of these meetings is for both groups to gain insight into each other’s perspective.
For information about how you can become involved in the Chicago Area Project/Youth As Resources Youth leadership Development Program, call Kathleen Mosley at 312-588-3816 or at YAR@chicagoareaproject.org.
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