Huntsville Councilman shares personal Facebook video after attempt to break up a neighborhood fight


Devyn Keith speaks at a Huntsville City Council meeting on 2/23/17.
Photo: Kristen Conner/WHNT News 19

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HUNTSVILLE, Ala. – An outspoken Huntsville City Councilman says he and another man tried to break up a fight between a group of teenagers. Unfortunately, it didn’t end as peacefully as they wanted. In the aftermath of the incident, Devyn Keith shared his experience on Facebook and the video is getting a lot of attention.

After getting elected in November, Keith decided to live in four different neighborhoods in district one during his term. Terry Heights is the first. He says, he truly wanted to experience what life is like there. The Huntsville Police Department confirms a fight between two juveniles that had a crowd of spectators, but they did not arrest anyone and there were no injuries.  We are going to share with you a version of what happened through the eyes of the freshman councilman.

“Things must change.”

The caption is simple. The issues brought up in the video, not so much.

“I got punched,” says Keith. “I don’t know how to explain it. It was just a shocking moment.”

In the video, that has more than 1,000 shares, Keith describes the moment he and another man jumped in to diffuse an escalating situation between a group of kids.

“These two kids are fighting over something about basketball,” describes Keith. “We grabbed two of the main agitators and we talked to them and we explained to them that you can’t make a bad decision like this because it will truly affect your life. For a moment, we connected. This little kid understood what I was saying. I saw him look at me and understand that I was telling him that this decision could affect the rest of his life.”

But that connection abruptly ended, Keith says, when the young man’s mother pulled up.

“A parent pulls up in a car and almost hits the crowd,” explains Keith. “She jumps out of the car, sees me holding her son and yells to me, ‘Let go of my son.’ I understand that she doesn’t know what’s going on. I eventually say to her, ‘We’re stopping your son from a fight.'”

Her next words to him took him by surprise.

“She says to me, ‘I didn’t raise no punk, let `em fight.”

The shock and disappointment led him to share the experience on Facebook.

“I moved here for those situations,” says Keith. “I moved into this neighborhood to understand how you get a social connotation to a neighborhood that in a lot of ways is doing very well and I saw it tonight. It’s on us in some sense man. It’s on us.”

Councilman Devyn Keith also admitted that the experience rattled him and nearly brought him to tears. He urged people to pray and seize the small moments you get to make a positive, lasting impact on a child.

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