Entertainers, hundreds of DeKalb residents attend Strategy for Change discussion

DECATUR, Ga. — Hundreds of people showed up at the House of Hope church in Decatur for a town hall discussion on race that occasionally became heated.

Rapper Young Jeezy was one of the panelists at the Strategy for Change discussion who had to keep the peace at one point while he also gave his opinion on police brutality.

“We're getting a chance to really see what these people have been doing to our people since the beginning,” Jeezy said.

Panelists shared a wide variety of opinions on improving conditions in the black community, following five nights of protests in Atlanta.

“We have got to find a way to get on one accord in our approach,” said Dr. Bernice King, daughter of Martin Luther King Jr.

“The white bank is not going to give us a loan. We need to open up more black banks,” said rapper 2 Chainz.

Rapper David Banner suggested police officers need to face financial or even physical consequences for bad behavior.

Singer Lyfe Jennings disagreed, and the two had to be separated.

“I’m tired and am glad that black people are fired up. They should be,” Banner told Channel 2’s Matt Johnson.

Atlanta radio host Rickey Smiley hosted the event and said he hopes people who showed up will show up and vote.

“We're trying to get people excited about local elections,” Smiley said.

In the end, some in law enforcement said it's important for the community to vent, even if they're venting about police.

“There's a lot of people in the community and one thing I don’t want them doing is repressing their feelings,” said DeKalb County Public Safety Director Dr. Cedric Alexander.

Organizers had hoped to leave with a clear plan of action but it's a complex issue so that didn't quite happen.