DeWitt Township Police Car.

Relationships changing between police and citizens in DeWitt and Bath Township

Relationships have changed with officers and citizens in Bath and DeWitt township after the nationwide news of police involved shootings and the activist groups that have formed because of these incidents. “Not everyone likes Police, and it’s just something we have to deal with,” Officer Avery Lyon of Bath Township said. Racial relations have been a constant issue between citizens and officers throughout the country. Many citizens feel afraid when having an encounter with an officer. “It doesn’t matter if you’re white, black,” Lyon said.

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National police brutality talks impact DeWitt residents

The national conversations on police brutality have had an impact on the way DeWitt residents interact with the police, according to police chief Brian Russell. “People have treated us differently in some situations. When the bad guys and girls are being arrested for driving under the influence of intoxicating liquor, domestic violence or other arrests they often tell us not to shoot them,” Russell said. “Truth is we have had two officer involved shooting in 11 years.”

DeWitt is currently 94.5 percent white and local minorities said they sometimes feel targeted when passing the city. “As far as the diversity in Dewitt Township and the city of Dewitt, the officers there really target you when you get into that city limit,” said long-term township worker Barbara Davis, an African-American woman.