Carmelo Anthony spent his one day off from U.S. Olympic basketball team practice to do something productive and very necessary with his time: talk police violence with youth of color.
The Puerto Rican-African American basketball star led a two-hour town hall in a South Los Angeles youth center with basketball stars, community leaders and police officers.
"There were some very, very powerful messages that were being talked about," Anthony said. "Not just amongst us as athletes, but among the youth. The youth really spoke out today about how they feel about their community, how they feel about police officers, how they feel about relationships and how we can mend these relationships."
The discussion gathered about 200 people together to talk about the importance of respect, communication and safety. Anthony recruited fellow Olympian basketball player Tamika Catchings to begin a very powerful and necessary national conversation.
According to Catchings, the young people told officers how scared they feel when they are approached by cops who have their hands on their guns.
"Definitely tension, and definitely some tears," said Catchings. "One young lady said that when she got off the bus and saw the [police] uniform, right off the bat, she was scared. But coming into this environment and hearing everything, she [said], 'I doubted I really wanted to be a part of it, but I'm so glad that I came because now I feel like I'm walking away with so much more than I thought I was going to get.'"
Catchings said that when you have conversations like that and you get feedback like that, you know you're going in the right direction.
"We really got a lot of messages out of today," Anthony added. "Hopefully we can continue this dialogue, and we created something today that will continue on."
(h/t Fox News Latino)