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KANSAS CITY, Mo. — Community members are hoping words will ring louder than gun shots as they work to stop the senseless shootings happening across the nation, and the murders in their own backyards.

“It’s very important for people, especially people of my age and color to be in involved in the conversation about it,” said Jaylon Verser, who rushed to make the meeting.

Verser arrived at the Third District community meeting ready to brainstorm ideas on how to improve relationships with law enforcement. There was talk of race and white privilege. Verser said he wanted to become more involved and educated about police policy and procedure.

“One should not feel that their color, something that we have no control over prevents them from achieving anything,” he said.

As a young black male, Verser said he has faced racism walking and driving the streets of Kansas City. Finding a solution to improve relationships with the police is what he’s hoping to do here. That’s one of the reasons why Damon Daniel of AdHoc Group joined the panel.

“What I’m trying to convey is one, relationships are really important. Two, don’t hold things in, really find an avenue like this to communicate whatever issues you’re having in the community with those who can help,” Daniel said.

More than 50 community members gathered at Gregg/Klice Community center ready to voice their ideas. Armed with knowledge, Verser said he hopes to inform himself and others of ways to be more involved to improve his community.

“What we’re dealing with is mindset change and as well as policy changes,” said Verser.