People have always said it should stand to reason that “good” cops should want all the “bad” cops held accountable for unethical behavior and/or criminal actions, so that they wouldn’t be able to sully the reputation of the entire law enforcement establishment, but reason doesn’t always seem to have a place in the United States.
Instead, police officers and their most fervent supporters have taken the Black Lives Matter protests against police brutality and racism as an affront to all cops. Forget weeding out the bad when you can just close ranks and turn it into us vs. them, right?
This has resulted in police across the country throwing temper tantrums and pity parties rather than trying to understand why the people they pledged to serve feel so threatened by them.
And for one town in Nevada, that specifically translated into the local sheriff telling library staff that they shouldn’t bother calling 911 anymore after the library merely considered showing support for BLM.
Douglas County Public Library scheduled a virtual meeting for this week, in which a vast array of items such as budgets and the pandemic would be discussed with its Board of Trustees, with the public also able to “attend.”
But one small bit of business sent Douglas County Sheriff Daniel Coverley into a tailspin.
At the end of the library’s announcement of the meeting, they noted that there may be a discussion of a diversity statement for the library to adopt. It would potentially read: “The Douglas County Public Library denounces all acts of racism, violence and disregard for human rights. We support #BlackLivesMatter.”
The fact that Sheriff Coverley took a denouncement of racism and violence as an affront to cops suggests some unfortunate things about the local police department, but that’s exactly what happened.
“Due to your support of Black Lives Matter and the obvious lack of support or trust with the Douglas County Sheriff’s Office, please do not feel the need to call 911 for help,” he wrote in a letter to the library. “I wish you good luck with disturbances and lewd behavior, since those are just some of the recent calls my office has assisted with in the past.”
Coverley’s letter also insisted that there is no evidence that “law enforcement is systemically racist or structurally biased,” while citing inaccurate and misleading statistics about Black people killed by police in 2019.
After the drama went public, the sheriff and library director Amy Dodson met to discuss the library’s proposed support of BLM. They ultimately wound up postponing the public meeting, and dismissed the controversy as a “misunderstanding.”
“This has been a difficult time to be a law enforcement professional and can be disheartening when we perceive that our office may be under attack,” Coverley said.
You’d think with reasoning like that, Coverley might be capable of taking a second to try to understand how Black people feel in a world where they are constantly under attack. You’d think.