HUNTSVILLE, Ala. – Demonstrators gathered in Huntsville to call for racial justice Saturday afternoon.
About a dozen people joined together in Big Spring Park. Speakers took turns discussing topics such as deescalation training and use of force by police officers.
A citizens coalition said they want to hold regular meetings with Huntsville police to help mend broken relationships with the community. Family members of Crystal Ragland, a woman fatally shot during an encounter with Huntsville police at Stadium Apartments in May 2019, were also in attendance.
Police said they responded to a call of a woman waving a gun at her neighbors. Police said the woman, 32-year-old Crystal Ragland, was shot after a verbal confrontation in which they said she refused to follow the officers’ commands to not pull the weapon from her waistband.
According to a GoFundMe page set up by Ragland’s relative, Ragland was an Army veteran who had been diagnosed with PTSD and schizophrenia.
In June 2019, a police review board determined the officers involved in the shooting acted within department policy. After the shooting, police discovered the weapon Ragland had was a replica.