Bridging the divide: Racine police, community come together on the basketball court

Bridging the divide: Racine police, community come together on the basketball court

RACINE (CBS 58) -- Community leaders, thinking outside the box tonight, hosted a unique basketball game. The teams were made up of police, teachers and students.

"My goal is that in order of those we lose, we start to do something different, we do something positive to remember those people and we stop gathering when there is a death and we start gathering to prevent those deaths," said Nakeya Haymer, Voices of Black Mothers United. 

It was so much more than just a basketball game. A panelist discussion was held at halftime, which included Racine's police chief, the overall message from all is that if community members and police work together, they can accomplish a lot.

Bigger than basketball, that's what voices of Black Mothers United called the event at Case High School.

"And we have turned our pain into purpose," said Sylvia Bennett-Stone, voices of Black Mothers United.

The murder of 30-year-old Brittany Booker shows what women in the city are facing. The Racine mother of six was murdered over the weekend. 

"She is the model of why we need to do this at this time," said Sylvia Bennettstone, Voices of Black Mothers United. 

Sylvia Bennettstone is the national director of Voices of Black Mothers United -- a national initiative launching in Racine. It works to heal Black mothers who've lost their children.

"What I saw was people wanting a change. What I heard is people wanting solutions and that's what we provide," Bennettstone said. "Helping those families heal so the people around them can heal and then we will see a decrease in and then we will see a decrease in violence."

Mothers looking for a change because of a rise in black crime.

"It has gotten out of control to where our babies are being killed," said Bennett-Stone.

A number of team unity and team peace -- fathers, also looking for change.

"Because usually the community as kids don't see cops as friendly, but now they can see them all together and playing games together and just having fun," said Joshua Mosley, Racine Unified Community connectors.

Getting these officers out of their uniforms, and right on the court alongside teachers, students and other community members, a win. Fellow officers cheered them on.

"Yea, we do, I see Matt from Mt Pleasant, Travis on the blue team. We've got guys all over the place," said Sgt. James Pettis of Racine Police.

Black Mothers United supports community policing, and strongly opposes calls for defunding the police.

"It's the pain that you can't describe, but we all know where each other are coming from," said Nakeyda Haymer, voices of Black Mothers United in Racine.

Nakeyda Haymer lost her brother to gun violence, 24-year old D'Anthony Keenan.

"For him to lose his life it really, I was angry and I found a way, somewhere to put that pain, said Haymer.

Whether you were Team Unity or Team Peace, it really didn't matter out here because right here, right now, they were all on the same team

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