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City leaders say racial tension is still a major issue in the city of Little Rock. Thursday night Leaders met with community members for a forum to address race related problems. Most people talked about issues affecting the African-American community and the way they feel they're being treated by the city. While some asked about economic growth, most of the questions were geared towards the Little Rock Police Department and instances of alleged racial profiling. Little Rock Police Chief Stuart Thomas could barely take a seat. That's because law enforcement dominated the conversation at the Racial and Cultural Diversity Commission community forum. A man attending the forum said, "The perception is that racial sensitivity training is a cover. It's a cover to try and train your rookies how to navigate their feelings but it doesn't change their feelings." Police Chief Stuart Thomas said, "I think you have to make a statement. I think you have to hold public employees accountable to a certain standard of behavior and I believe that's what we did." While people are glad the department isn't giving up, the incident has highlighted an ongoing rift between LRPD and the African-American community. It's that rift that Matthew Rougely says inspired him to post this video to the web and speak out at the forum. Rougely said, "I just wanted to post it so they couldn't deal with it quietly, cause it seems like these kinds of things are swept under the rug by the police."
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It's good to talk.