Houston Matters

Perspectives on Race & Law Enforcement from a Man Who Has Lived on Both Sides of the Law

Over the next year, Houston Public Media is engaged in an initiative we’re calling Diverse City. We will examine a wide range of challenges and opportunities facing Greater Houston, a region which often celebrates its place as the most diverse city in America, but still faces many of the challenges we find nationwide in bringing […]

Photo: Michael Hagerty, Houston Public MediaOver the next year, Houston Public Media is engaged in an initiative we’re calling Diverse City. We will examine a wide range of challenges and opportunities facing Greater Houston, a region which often celebrates its place as the most diverse city in America, but still faces many of the challenges we find nationwide in bringing Americans together, regardless of race, ethnicity, religion, gender, sexuality, or any of the other many distinctions that can sometimes divide us — but often make us a stronger place to live.

As part of this Diverse City initiative, Houston Matters will host a town hall next month exploring the relationship between the black community and law enforcement. Today, and in the coming weeks leading up to our town hall, we’re going to talk with people who have a variety of perspectives on this relationship.

We talk with Karlton Harris, who has viewed this, at times, tenuous relationship from both the perspective of a drug dealing gang member in his youth, and an ex-convict and minister who has, for years, helped others navigate a more successful path in life after they serve their time.

He’s a member of Mayor Sylvester Turner’s MBK task force, or “My Brother’s Keeper” task force, part of an initiative developed back in 2014 by the Obama Administration, which is focused on helping young black men stay on the straight and narrow throughout probation. He’s also the founder of the Katy-based Re-Entry Consultants of America, and Karlton Harris Ministries.

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