INDIANAPOLIS - Be respectful, listen to their commands and always keep your hands in a visible position when interacting with police.
That's the message Rev. Malichi Walker has for youngsters at the Young Men Inc. summer camp.
The organization has hosted the camp in Indianapolis for the past 20 years. Among other things, it teaches young men how they should behave when approached by police.
"You are going to respect, honor and obey them," Walker said. "That's what we are gonna do."
It's a doctrine that's drilled into the 80 young men participating in the camp from day one.
Now 21 and a camp counselor, James Williams has attended the camp since he was 9.
"Getting that extra discipline, learning that extra respect, responsibility and leadership, that helps build a solid foundation," Williams said.
Neither Williams nor Walker know specifically what happened that lead to the shooting death of Michael Brown in Ferguson, MO., this weekend, but they do know what advice to give their campers to help them stay alive in similar situations.
"You don't do anything, you just listen to what the officer says," Williams said. "You don't respond until he asks you to do something."
Protestors gathered in Indianapolis on Thursday with questions over the events in Ferguson that have drawn national attention. It was a peaceful scene in stark contrast to the civil unrest that has plagued Ferguson since Brown's shooting.
"Having a good relationship with the community is critical," said Jim White, a public safety lecturer at IUPUI. "If you have a good relationship with the community you can talk to the community, you can explain things to the community, and it seems maybe in this instance there was not a good relationship between the community and the law enforcement community."
The nine-week-long Young Men Inc. Camp for next year begins on June 2nd and ends August 9th. The price for the camp is $50.
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