RICHMOND, Calif. (KTVU) - A Richmond restaurant owner whose mother died in a deadly police shooting is doing what she can to improve police relations. She organized a special event Thursday to bring police officers and members of the community together.
Tucked away on the Richmond Marina is Salute restaurant. Inside, workers are making signs to show support for police.
"The community must come together. We have to be together. We have to be united," says Menbere Aklilu, the owner of Salute. She says after watching the funeral for the five Dallas officers shot and killed last week, she decided it was time to give back. But doing so wasn't easy.
Aklilu's mother was shot and killed in her native Ethiopia by a police sergeant. He stayed at their hotel and didn't want to pay his bill. "He was mad and he shot her and he killed her. I was there I was a witness. I saw everything. The shotgun the blood everything," says Aklilu.
She says over time she's learning to heal. Part of that process is this march for love and peace. She, her workers, their families and members of Richmond's community came together for a common cause showing their appreciation for police.
"I want to recognize and appreciate Menbere from Salute for pulling this together. We’re really deeply appreciating it," says Richmond Police Chief Allwyn Brown.
The officers were fed fish, pasta and vegetables topped off with dessert. Aklilu says she can't heal by holding on to anger. That's why she gives food and love in hopes of making her mother proud.
"I asked myself am I doing the right thing or not in front of my mom. I said, yes I'm doing the right thing. She would be proud of me," says Aklilu.