African-American families in Denver discuss race with their children following shootings

2 shootings in 2 cities in 2 days
Posted at 3:19 AM, Jul 08, 2016
and last updated 2016-07-08 05:19:24-04

The recent police shootings in the African-American community are prompting many families in Colorado to have difficult discussions about race.

Inside the Coburn family home in Aurora nothing is off limits.

"There are discussions as a black family that we have to have that might not take place in some other homes," said Holli Coburn.

As parents to African-American sons, ages 8 and 12, these parents know their children could be subjected to different treatment in all aspects of their life, including their interactions with police.

"Always remain respectful, to show eye contact, to make your hands visible.  And to put them up if necessary. Just to let them know you are not threat,” she said. 

This is a discussion that has been passed down from generation to generation.

"My father did tell me about it too, when I became a teenager and started driving on my own. He just told me certain things to look out for and how to react,” said Christopher Coburn.

The Coburn's want to make it clear that they view police as allies, not adversaries.  But is some case there's an imbalance.

"I want people to realize, that we as African Americans, we have conversations that other people perhaps might not have. Are we asking for your pity? No. But we're asking for you to have empathy, because it just adds another complex conversation to our lives," said Holli.


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