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Rosa Parks Day Committee wants to move forward with Huntsville Mayor Tommy Battle

“The mayor began his statement by saying he was disappointed, and we actually share that disappointment."

Posted: May 20, 2021 5:01 PM
Updated: May 20, 2021 6:47 PM

WAAY 31 spoke to a local civic group, Rosa Parks Day Committee, about next steps in seeking police reform after breaking off talks with Huntsville's Mayor Tommy Battle. 

Both sides call the breakdown in communication disappointing.

“The mayor began his statement by saying he was disappointed, and we actually share that disappointment,” said David Person, a spokesman for the committee.

The Rosa Parks Day Committee called off Thursday's meeting with Battle over his show of support for police officer William Darby. Darby was convicted of murder for an on-duty shooting. 

“This is about much more than the Rosa Parks Day Committee and Mayor Tommy Battle and (Huntsville Police) Chief (Mark) McMurray. Ultimately, fundamentally, and most importantly, this is about the value of the life of Mr. Jeffery Parker," said Person.

Parker died in that 2018 shooting. The committee wants Darby's conviction to be a catalyst for change so this never happens again.

The committee is willing to speak with Battle in the future. However, Person said a specific level of comfort and trust in the mayor's words will have to be met before. 

“In order for dialogue to formally resume, we will have to reach a point where we believe the dialogue will yield results that we can count on, you know, whether we agree with them or not," he said. 

Person believes the committee will formally reach out to the Department of Justice so they can look into the Huntsville Police Department. 

WAAY 31 reached out to Battle's office to learn his plans moving forward, but we have not gotten a response.

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