Officials gather in South L.A. to discuss police, community relations

Federal and state legislators are hosting a public forum Saturday in South Los Angeles to address concerns about police and community relations, and raise awareness of the president’s new task force on policing.

The forum is being held at  Ward AME Church and is hosted by Rep. Karen Bass (D-Los Angeles). Also in attendance are Assemblyman Reginald Jones-Sawyer (D-Los Angeles), who also chairs the Congressional Legislative Black Caucus, and attorney Connie Rice, who is an appointee to the task force. The forum runs from 10 a.m. to noon.

The forum comes days after Vice President Joe Biden gave a possible preview of the recommendations coming from the president’s Task Force on 21st Century Policing during a speech at the Organization of Minority Women’s annual Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Breakfast in Wilmington.

President Obama formed the group after the violent confrontations between police and demonstrators speaking out against the controversial police killings of black men in Ferguson, Mo., Cleveland, New York and Los Angeles.

The task force includes law enforcement representatives, community leaders, academics and youth leaders who will compile recommendations about how to improve trust, accountability and transparency.

Concerns expressed at the forum will also be considered as state and federal legislation related to policing are being introduced.

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