COLUMBUS, Ohio (WCMH) – Columbus police leadership promised change at a conversation with community members Tuesday night.

Organizers wanted it to be a chance for those who have been treated wrong or hurt by Columbus police to talk to leadership.

“It’s going to take time and we’re asking for people to be patient with us and allow us to continue to do the things we’re doing,” said Columbus Chief of Police Elaine Bryant.

There were emotional conversations at times during the event, with some community members not holding back when it came to their criticism of the department.

Bryant said one of the reasons she attended the event is because she wants to hear what everyone has to say.

Nakea Hughes holds part of a broken bracelet in a cup, broken two Saturdays ago while she was at the hospital.

“It wasn’t a good feeling, especially when you’re already in the mindset of, ‘Is my child OK,’” she said.

Hughes’ son had been shot. She said while she was waiting to see him, a Columbus police officer who was part of the investigation mistreated her, aggressively grabbing her arm and breaking the bracelet.

It’s a story she shared with police leadership at the forum, organized by Faith in Public Life and other organizations.

“Unfortunately, you’re still going to have those bad apples that are in there and until she weeds them out, things are still going to happen, but I do feel hopeful,” Hughes said.

Bryant had Hughes’ paperwork and information taken immediately.

Police shootings, other excessive force, and community members’ hopes for non-police response to certain crises were also discussed.

“I understand change takes time,” said one of the attendees. “You’re doing what you can do, but advocacy does not. Today, you can start advocating.”

“I understand the passion that is coming out of this room,” Bryant said. “Trust me I understand it and I’m listening to it and I’m taking it and I’m listening to everything you say and trust me, I’m feeling it.”

Racism was also discussed, both in how some feel they’ve been treated by police and also within the division.

“We can’t be the answer to all of the issues that surround racism and policing,” said Columbus Police Assistant Chief LaShanna Potts. “Policing as a culture needs to change and we’re in the process of doing that.”

Hughes and others said following the conversation, they now want to see what happens next.

“I’m comfortable with it, satisfied,” Hughes said. “Will we ever be satisfied with anything? I don’t know, but I’m definitely comfortable and I’m comfortable with her responses.”

“I was impressed with what they had to say,” said Karla Carey, another attendee at the event. “I’ll be more impressed when I see the action behind their words.”

“We have work to do, but it doesn’t just stop at the division’s feet,” Potts said. “It stops in the community. It stops at us, at everyone holding each other accountable.”

Bryant said a few times during the conversation that the issues discussed weren’t created overnight and they won’t be solved overnight, adding that anyone who wants to help will not be turned away.