Racine holds Town Hall meeting: "The State of Black Racine"

RACINE (WITI) A man is dead after a tavern robbery. The death comes as city leaders gather for The State of Black Racine to discuss issues impacting a specific part of the community.

It's quiet and closed now, but Saturday morning, The American Legion on Douglas Avenue was a flurry of police activity.

"We had a robbery attempt. It ended in tragedy," said Chief Art Howell, Racine Police.

Officials tell FOX6 suspects robber the tavern, in the process a male patron was shot and killed.

Police say they can't release details about the victim until the family is notified. They also say suspects took off after the incident.

Later Saturday morning, May 31st less than a mile down the road at the Abundant Life Christian Center Church, leaders like Tim Thompkins are participating in a scheduled town hall meeting titled 'The State of Black Racine'.

"Our men are being deported. Families are ending up on the welfare system," said Tim Thompkins, HR Affirmative Action Safety & Train.

Representatives from the NAACP, school district and public defender's field questions from the audience, and Brian Storm solutions to problems. In a city with a high poverty rate, and a school district where only one out of four students' succeed.

"I have to be the mother that I am to say, son hold on," said Mary Payne, Racine parent. "If you give the people a job then they won't have to get on the system. Don't that make sense?"

As tears are shed, many of the participants believe this is the first step of many, toward improving the entire community.