Some in Waterloo community voice concern after recent police inv - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

Some in Waterloo community voice concern after recent police involved shootings

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(KWWL) -

Reaction from local police and reaction from the community all pouring in. KWWL wanted to hear the concerns from some in Waterloo's Black community, and spent some time in a couple neighborhood barber shops.

"It's almost like I expect things to go bad," said Waterloo resident John Coffer. 

The reality John Coffer says he has come to know. 

"When I encounter a police officer in the course of his duty, the fear that races through my mind is that my life is going to change," said Coffer. "My life could change in this moment."

Barber Eric Thompson says he avoids police all together.

"I would keep you know brake lights, and license plate lights, and signal lights, just so I can avoid being stopped," said Waterloo barber Eric Thompson. "Necessarily, nothing would happen. It's just sometimes, it's late, to avoid it. You know to avoid the extra harassment and for me not to be bothered."

"We're always thought of as thugs, liars, drug dealers, gangsters," said Coffer. "That's the typical perception of how most people in law enforcement view us. Not all, but most."

A perception both say is because of their skin color.

"We're already a target anyway, being black males, you know, no matter where you go, certain stares you get, certain looks you get," said Thompson. 

"When is it gonna stop?" said Coffer. "That's a good question."

Both men saying their struggle is nothing new and agree a move towards compassion is a start.

"Compassion, and the passion by another definition means to suffer," said Coffer. "And you know come means with. So to suffer with. I mean though you may not understand it. Though it may not be a reality for you. Though it may not be something you experience first hand, to seek to understand."

Both men also saying they are not only concerned for themselves right now, but the future and their children. 

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