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Danville community members use a town hall to discuss policing and racial injustice

Published: Jun. 11, 2020 at 10:22 PM EDT|Updated: Jun. 11, 2020 at 10:23 PM EDT
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DANVILLE, Ky. (WKYT) - In the fight against racial injustice and police brutality, we’ve seen protests and prayer rallies, but one community is trying something new.

There were no chants or marching, though concerns about policing were just as present in Danville Thursday night as at any protest.

But, instead, they were addressed in a panel discussion at a town hall meeting.

“Before things got any worse in our area, we wanted to say, 'look we need to talk,'" Organizer Shanna Smith said. "We wanted to know what needs to happen so that we are not the next city that’s placed on the map.”

From body cameras to use of force, Danville Police and Boyle County Sheriff’s Department's policies were laid out in full as community members asked about hypothetical situations as well as actual past experiences.

“What are the steps that need to be taken from both sides so we can just get a better understanding," Smith said. "I feel like that’s what everyone is missing, just understanding on both sides, and we’ve got a lot of emotions going on right now and we just need to take time and listen, speak our minds, and then move forward.”

Organizers hope this was a major step in opening communication and bettering relationships between community and police.

“People are voicing true complaints, true issues, true concerns," Smith said. "It’s not just the African American community, it’s everybody, and that’s what this is about, it’s about unity for everyone.”

Organizers say this town hall was just the beginning. They hope to make it a regular event and a way to hold each other accountable.

Copyright 2020 WKYT. All rights reserved.

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