We got some responses to our July 22 story about the conflicts between people at the July 18 rally in Dallas.

Some thought that article didn’t adequately represent the counter protesters. The story was not about the protest nor the counter protest, only that there was conflict and that the Dallas Police Department took a report and is investigating.

While we have covered rallies and included some of the accounts people gave of racism they have experienced, one event that stands out is the listening session held in Independence a couple of weeks ago.

The operative word is “listening.” The purpose of the event was to give a platform for people to talk to police officers about their experiences. The police chiefs of Monmouth and Independence and Polk County Sheriff were there in plain clothes. Most of the speakers talked about their negative experiences in the community. Some spoke in support of police and some spoke to both points of view.

It’s what happened after the event though that may make a longer-lasting impact on the people who were there. They talked with each other one-on-one and in small groups. There was no yelling, though by some facial expressions it was clear some of these conversations were difficult.

We think everyone who participated — on both sides — set a great example of how to listen. We hope to see something similar in Dallas.

For some more inspiration on how to listen, check out our story about the Pastors in Quarantine, which starts on A1.

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