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Wichita Police, Activists Replace Protest with Picnic

A diverse group of citizens gathered with police for a barbecue and discussion of community chalenges. (Photo: NPR)

What was originally planned as a protest march turned into a barbecue in Wichita. Police and a diverse group of residents ate together and discussed policing and problems in the community. After a peaceful protest by the "Black Lives matter" group last week (July 11), organizers announced plans for another protest march but after meeting with Wichita Police Chief Gordon Ramsay, they agreed to hold a community barbecue instead. Wichita Mayor Jeff Longwell says they hope to hold such events more often but says some progress has already been made.

The barbecue was attended by police and a diverse group of residents Sunday at a park near downtown Wichita.

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