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Gathering Point Founder Richard Wooten Condemns the Recent Police Shootings in Georgia and Dallas

I'm saddened and frustrated that members of the Dallas, Texas and Valdosta, Georgia communities have taken out their anger regarding the recent shootings of two unarmed Black men by police by retaliating with violence.

It's hard to sit and talk about this because it's happening so fast and seems unreal,” says Wooten, founder of Gathering Point Community Council.

I've served for 23 years as CPD officer before retiring last summer, and been one of the leading experts working to improve relations between police and the community. When are people going to take responsibility for their actions and realize the negative direction they are taking?

I believe that this is the work of homegrown terrorists who are hiding behind peaceful protests to get out into the community and cause chaos and violence.

I believe these individuals are committed to keeping the nation in a state of emergency, further putting both police and the community in a state of panic and paranoia, which will inevitably lead to more knee-jerk reaction violence.

Although many of these protesters say they are calling for peace, their actions prove the opposite.

These folks are trying to take justice in their own hands and all they're doing is crippling society. You can't take the peacekeepers out of society and expect to have peace.

These shooters are simply committing the same atrocious acts they accuse the police of doing.

The police in Dallas and Valdosta had nothing to do with what happened in Minneapolis and Baton Rouge - That’s ridiculous.

In response to this violent unrest, the Chicago Police Department has ordered its officers to work in pairs and I agree with this decision because police officers have become targets, the Department needs to reposition itself and boost security.

I'm calling for additional public entities such as state troopers and Cook County Police to assist Chicago during this turbulent time.

My organization, Gathering Point, uses a grassroots approach that focuses on community reclamation and empowering individuals to take back their neighborhoods. To date, Gathering Point has been very engaged in improving relations between law enforcement officials in Chicago and the community. As one of the city's leading community organizations, it has held meetings with the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ), the Chicago Police Department's new superintendent Eddie Johnson. Gathering Point has been a strong advocate for the community calling on the DOJ to investigate the CPD after numerous high profile fatal police shootings of civilians and they urged the mayor to dismiss its former superintendent who failed to address citizens concerns around public safety and police misconduct.

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