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Pittsburgh Spiritual Leaders Meeting With Police To Discuss Issues In Community

PITTSBURGH (KDKA) -- Local leaders are trying to repair the relationship between police and the communities they serve.

Addressing recurring police violence across the U.S. has become increasingly challenging for religious leaders, including, Rev. Dr. Vincent K. Campbell, the senior pastor at Ebenezer Baptist Church.

"What do we do with that anger? Do we allow it to cause us to self-destruct? Or do we use that anger to fuel action?" said Campbell.

While Derek Chauvin was found guilty in the murder of George Floyd earlier week, Campbell does not believe justice alone is addressing the injustices when it comes to policing.

"I didn't want us to have to win a verdict, win a murder trial in order to feel like we have a victory. A man is dead that doesn't have to be dead. Where's the victory?" said Campbell.

But where's the solution?

"The groups can come together and find a way to coexist for the benefit of everyone," he said.

That's something his church has been at for months. Weekly, the church works with Pittsburgh Police Community Engagement Officers on volunteer projects, which often leads to them sharing candid conversations about police concerns on both sides.

"America has a soul problem. To fix a soul, you have to change a heart. You can't legislate morality. You can't legislate away racism," the pastor said.

On Wednesday, spiritual leaders across the area started their new Rebuilding and Restoring Meetings. In the meetings, the leaders and Pittsburgh police from multiple zones gather virtually to discuss issues in their communities.

"I believe that's where it starts. People coming together, listening to each other's experiences, sharing each other's hearts and then caring enough to ask how can we heal," said Campbell.

Wednesday's meeting was focused specifically on issues happening in Zone 2.

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