Former NFL player, Eric Allen, joins Game Changer as a non-law enforcement member of the community. Allen is participating in a groundbreaking police/community relations focus group three hours before all participants attend The San Diego State University men’s basketball game.
Eric Allen, Community Member – Video Transcript
“Being a person who grew up here in southeast San Diego on 42 street when you saw police in your area, neighborhood. When I was between the ages of 8 and 15 maybe. I’m 51 now so I saw the changes in how I viewed the police officer coming into our area and it wasn’t positive. I was one of those knuckle headed kids, hiding behind the wall, throwing rocks at the police officers. Just because that was the mindset of the older teenagers in our neighborhood. Police weren’t good. After you go through that stretch and you go through high school and college, your perspective changes. Now that I have children and you understand that the officer is there to protect and serve. I’m not in the same neighborhood now and my children don’t have that same mindset I had. So the conversations we have are totally different. It’s kinda like that aha moment when you’re talking to your child, you’re saying hey…whenever you’re stopped, just comply. Use common sense. Comply. I never really had that growing up as a kid. Police officers were, hey they’re coming around, you need to run. Remember being in national city at the skating rink at 15 and lights went off, you knew you better get out because you knew if you didn’t they’d turn the dogs loose on you. It was an accepted situation and my lifestyle now is totally different. You do have those built in biases from your environment from the folks who were in your neighborhood doing those wrong things. So again the conversations I have with my children now are totally different from where I came from. That’s a good thing. We have the ability to be able to change and develop and become a better person.”
Visit the Game Changer YouTube page to watch additional footage of focus groups and testimonials from law enforcement and community members who have participated.
Are You A Game Changer?
Game Changer is a movement bringing together community members, law enforcement, judicial and legislative branches of government for moderated focus groups. Together we discuss community problems and devise solutions. Dinner and event tickets are provided. Pre and Post perception surveys are completed to generate data to be used to navigate toward change.
Be a part of the conversation, be a part of the solution. Contact Game Changer if you would like to make a donation, host an event or participate in a focus group.