Charlottesville City Council discussed a topic Thursday night that has many in the community concerned.
A racial disparity task force recently found major discrepancies between black and white youth in the system, and now is asking council for change.
The task force presented its findings to City Council about two weeks ago. Thursday night was a chance to have an in-depth discussion about the issue.
It was a very passionate discussion about a problem that is real for many in Charlottesville. The main concern is how black youth are treated in the system and during initial contact with police.
The issue is complex and the exact reasons for the disparities haven't been pinpointed, but it's clear there is a need for more community involvement. City councilors say they hope to implement the task force's suggestions soon, which include more training for police officers and taking a close look at current policies.
"It's just critical and anybody who is here saw the community involvement, the real passion that is in the community about this issue. It's very personal, it's very historic, and it needs to be addressed,” said City Councilor Dede Smith.
The task force will also continue its work on the issue. The hope is for the Human Rights Commission and GRACE, the gang task force, to work closely with the group.
Council is expected to approve the task force's recommendations soon, although the exact timeline is unclear.
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