Documentary focuses on life after west Louisville violence


by Renee Murphy

Posted on February 20, 2013 at 6:39 PM

Updated Wednesday, Feb 20 at 6:41 PM

(WHAS11) -- When police cleared the crime scene on May 17 Shawnell Harrison got out his camera and started rolling.

"It’s clear this city doesn't even know what to do, doesn't even know how to handle a situation like this,” a young resident of West Louisville said.

These are the voices of a community after the murders.

“Human beings live in the West End not animals. That's what I want people to take away, human beings live in the West End not animals,” Shawnell Harrison, local filmmaker, said.

Harrison's new documentary called “After the Murders” focuses on life after homicides and what happens to residents living nearby. He focuses on West Louisville mostly after he May 17 murders when three people were killed on one afternoon.

“It's important to me because I come from these communities. I saw the violence that went down on 32nd I had a visceral response to it.  I felt like I had to get my camera and get up and see what was going on,” Harrison said.

He talked to children in the neighborhood who offered solutions.

“Everybody can stand up and that will make the other people stand up,” one child said.

He also talked to adults who long for what their neighborhood used to be like.

“You look at Victory Park, Elliott Park, there were wading parks. My dad would sit with his friends while we would wade in the water. When parents had time and they would do an outing they would take their kids with them,” one man said.

Community organizer Richard Whitlock is also featured.  He runs programs for at-risk kids.

“Just realize what would you do if you were these young people. Who would you be if your mother was a crack head, if your mother was a heroin addict, if your father was in the penitentiary?  If your father was a murder victim?” Whitlock said. “Imagine what it is really like being these young people. That is their reality. That is our reality.”

Click here to view the full documentary "After the Murders."