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Sudbury's Paula Wharton invited the police chief over to talk race relations — and he came

As demonstrators and police continue to clash in Baton Rouge, LA — and other Black Lives Matter protests are being held around the US — one Sudbury woman is watching developments with an especially keen eye.

"I think Sudbury is a good example of what should happen all over the place," she says

Paula Wharton says she invited a group of black Sudburians over to her house to speak with police chief Paul Pedersen recently. "I wanted them to know that this country — this town — that I live in, is not ever going to become what happens in America, because our chief told me so." (Roger Corriveau/CBC)

As demonstrators and police continue to clash in Baton Rouge, LA — and other Black Lives Matter protests are being held around the United States — one Sudbury woman is watching developments with an especially keen eye.  

Paula Wharton has two daughters living in the US: one in New York, the other in Washington, DC. 

"They both tell me that one thing they're afraid of in the United States is being stopped by a white police officer. That terrifies them."

"[Also], my son's a doctor [in Toronto]," she said. "But he's a black man. And that's why I say, 'black lives matter.' He's terrified ... Black people certainly are not privileged like white people." 

Wharton, who is also a member and the former chair of Greater Sudbury Police's Racial and Multicultural Relations Advisory Board, said she recently asked chief Paul Pedersen to come to her home to speak with a group of black Sudburians about police relations with the black community. 

"I wanted [guests] to know that this country — this town — that I live in, is not ever going to become what happens in America, because our chief told me so," she said. 

"I think Sudbury is a good example of what should happen all over the place," she continued. "That dinner we had with the chief, he wanted to stress there that it's reciprocal. Because we let him into our stories, they come in ... it's a two-way street." 

Listen to the complete interview with Paula Wharton here

Black Lives Matter...everywhere. Paula Wharton of Sudbury has been paying close attention to the issue. She invited the Greater Sudbury Police Chief to her home to talk to a circle of friends about racism. She joined us in studio to share some thoughts. 7:27