HUNTSVILLE, Ala. – A peaceful protest was held Sunday in Huntsville against the police-involved shooting death of Crystal Ragland.
The rally ended at the Lowe Mill Arts and Entertainment complex, where a fundraiser was held to create a memorial scholarship in Ragland’s honor. The march began outside “The Stadium Apartments” where the U.S. Army veteran lived, and where Huntsville Police were called back in 2019.
Officers say they found Ragland with a gun and opened fire after she refused to follow police commands to keep the gun holstered.
Ragland’s sister, Brandie Robinson, who took part in Sunday’s protest, has filed a lawsuit against the City of Huntsville and the officers involved. Robinson said the apartment complex manager called 911 and told the operator that Ragland suffered from PTSD, schizophrenia and other mental impairments.
At the rally, protesters today called for reform around how police officers respond to mental health calls.
“We need to start talking about mental illness and not stigmatizing it so people can admit when they are sick and we can get them help and law enforcement and the community as being sick and not bad,” said protester Adina Peyton.
A police review board and the Madison County District Attorney’s office has cleared the officers involved of any wrongdoing. The City of Huntsville recently told News 19 that they are unable to comment on pending litigation.