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Local police officers comment on Black Lives Matter movement

By Staff | Mar 17, 2017

The Black Lives Matter movement has been gaining an increasing amount of popularity since its origination in 2013. However because of this popularity gain, there has also been an increase in the number of protests. There have been several occasions where local law enforcement has had to get involved with these protests, especially in larger cities, because some of these protests have turned into riots.

A reported by CNN, in 2016, there was a violent protest in St.Paul, Minnesota that involved a scuffle between protesters and the police. Rocks, bottles, and bricks were thrown at the police. Police also commented that a Molotov cocktail was also thrown at them. At least five officers were injured at this protest, one involving an officer being hit by a firework.

Another protest reported by the San Diego Union-Tribune in 2016 was located at El Cajon, right outside of San Diego, California. This protest consisted of participants attacking several parked cars and one motorcycle. The windows were smashed on several cars, and the crowd was also throwing glass bottles until arrests were made.

However for every one of these violent protests there have been peaceful protests in areas. Like all other movements, Black Lives Matter is a polarizing one, and it can’t be defined to just one protest.

There was one here in Shepherdstown last month, and the protestors were non violent and respectful of other peoples ideals. Shepherd Police officers Moats and Jefferies were at the protest to ensure people’s safety.

Jefferies said, “The protesters here are acting respectfully, they are well within their rights and we are just here to keep the peace and make sure nothing goes wrong.”

As far as the majority of protests in our area have been, protests have seemingly been peaceful. Police and protestors are respectful to each other, and don’t threaten violence to one another. Jefferson County Sherriff Pete Dougherty is a firm believer in the Black Lives Matter movement. He believes whatever instills the best sense of community with police and civilians alike can only be a great thing.

Dougherty said, “Lady Justice is depicted as blind, and that is how we as police officers and also has everyday people have to go into life. We can’t judge someone on someone’s own color, this movement speaks on that. Also at the end of the day, you can always depend on the golden rule to show what you need to do in a certain situation. Always treat people the way that you would like to be treated.”