- A Nevada sheriff responded to a local library considering support for Black Lives Matter by posting a critical open letter.
- In it, the sheriff said any support for the movement also supports violence and anti-police behaviour.
- He also told the library that it shouldn’t bother calling 911 and wished staff luck on dealing with disturbances on their own.
- The sheriff walked his letter back later in the day and said his office would continue to respond to emergencies.
- Portions of the letter appear to have been lifted from a separate letter, the Nevada Independent reported.
- Visit Insider’s homepage for more stories.
A Nevada county sheriff has backtracked on a bitter open letter that equated support for Black Lives Matter to favouring violence against law enforcement, which he wrote in reaction to a local library considering support for the movement.
The Douglas County Public Library has been considering adopting a “statement of diversity” that includes support for Black Lives Matter, according to The Nevada Independent. In response, the sheriff wrote in the letter that the library staff that it shouldn’t bother calling 911 for help.
“To support this movement is to support violence and to openly ask for it to happen in Douglas County,” Sheriff Daniel Coverley wrote on Monday. “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.”
Coverley walked back his comment in a follow-up statement Tuesday and said that his employees will, in fact, continue to do the job that citizens are paying them to do.
“Sheriff Coverley would also like to take this opportunity to clarify that the Douglas County Sheriff’s Office will continue to respond to all 911 calls, including those at the Library,” a statement from the office said.
The office is in communication with the library board to “understand the intent of their proposed diversity statement,” the new letter said.
“My response to the Library’s proposed agenda item was to provide public comment about their proposed diversity statement and to further provide open commentary about how this could affect our local law enforcement profession,” the sheriff wrote.
Portions of the sheriff’s initial letter appeared to be plagiarized directly from one that was sent by conservative attorney generals and the Western States Sheriffs Association sent to congressional leaders, including Nancy Pelosi, last month, according to the Nevada Independent.
“The tragic and preventable death of George Floyd at the hands of four Minneapolis police officers shined a national spotlight on bad actors within the law-enforcement profession,” both letters say. “At the same time, data simply does not support claims that law enforcement is systemically racist or structurally biased.”
Amy Dodson, the director of the Douglas County Public Library, told the Independent that the library has always had a good relationship with the sheriff’s office so she was surprised by their response to their proposed statement of diversity.
The statement, which has yet to be adopted, included a sentence in support of the movement, but it “was not meant to undermine police authority,” the Independent reported.
“We help everyone and serve everyone equally,” Dodson told the local paper. “And so that’s really all that the statement was meant to communicate, but that one sentence touched off a bit of a firestorm in social media.”
Expanded Coverage Module: black-lives-matter-module