Huntsville community leaders continue the conversation about race issues, police interaction

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HUNTSVILLE, Ala. – It has been a trying time in the United States this summer.  Two men were recently recorded on video being killed by police.  The backlash generated by these events sparked shootings targeting police officers.  This resulted in five officers being shot and killed in Dallas.  Three other officers were killed in Baton Rouge.

People are upset and tensions are high.  This is the kind of thing that we need to talk about, and WHNT News 19 is Taking Action to start the community conversation and keep it going.  This week Leon Schenck, Former Assistant Chief of the Huntsville Police Department, and Kenny Anderson, the Multicultural Affairs Officer for the City of Huntsville, joined us to give their perspective on how we need to move forward.

“I think of the diversity in this country now and I also think of the need for coming together,” said Schenck.  “It’s the only way we can solve our problem from the community perspective as well as our police officers is that we have to have a dialogue and that dialogue has to result in action that is going to address the issues that are so prevalent in our society today.”

“The first response for me is visceral,” said Anderson.  “I feel the pain, I feel the energy. I feel the emotion associated with both sides of the table.  I understand that people are feeling lots of things as relates to what happened. I think those feelings suggest, there’s a need for dialogue. There’s a need for communication. There’s a need for conversation expressing those feelings, and I think that’s part of the process.  All the community conversations that are taking place across the nation are absolutely essential to moving the process forward.  Because until you can acknowledge the feelings you really can’t address the issues,” Anderson added.

View our full in-depth conversation with Leon Schenck and Kenny Anderson here in five parts: