By Michelle Adams, Editor In Chief
Winchester police chief Kevin Sanzenbacher said during a public forum at Shenandoah University that there is no evidence of racial profiling in the city.
Demographics and statistics of arrests and citations match the racial makeup of the city, he said, during the August session hosted at the Harry F. Byrd, Jr. School of Business in cooperation with the Winchester Branch of the NAACP and the Winchester police department.
The forum was called as part of an ongoing effort to encourage open communication between community members and the police department, in response to protests over the death of D’Londre Minifield during a police encounter last February.
“I think when we had the demonstrations last spring, most of the people who were coming in demonstrating were from the outside. The people in our community came out and tried to help us in managing that, and we really appreciated that,” Sanzenbacher said. “We have a pretty good relationship with our community.”
“I feel like [race relations] is a bigger issue on a national level than it is here,” Kaitlynne Dennis, 21, a business administration major, said after the program. “We did have the issue in February, but that’s really the only issue I’ve heard of. Here, our community does one hell of a job…[and] doing things like this makes it better.
“Shenandoah is a great place and we are safe,” Dennis added. “We don’t need to worry, we don’t need to have our armor up, because the police really do have our backs.”