In a stern open letter this week, Douglas County Sheriff Dan Coverley told a Nevada library that if they are going to come out in favor of the Black Lives Matter movement, they should find someone else to call to report crimes.
“To support this movement is to support violence and to openly ask for it to happen in Douglas County,” Douglas County Sheriff Dan Coverley wrote in an open letter to the Douglas County Public Library Board of Trustees 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,” he continued. “I wish you good luck with disturbances and lewd behavior since those are just some of the recent calls my office has assisted you with in the past.”
The sheriff went on to note that “the Black Lives Matter movement openly calls all law enforcement corrupt and racist on their website. They call for the defunding of police, and we have seen how a lack of active law-enforcement has worked in Seattle, Washington and Portland, Oregon. Numerous Black Lives Matter protests have resulted in violence, property damage and the closing of local businesses, sometimes permanently.”
Coverley’s letter came in response to the board’s agenda, which announced that they would be holding a special meeting to discuss adopting a diversity statement.
“The Douglas County Public Library denounces all acts of violence, racism and disregard for human rights. We support #BlackLivesMatter. We resolutely assert and believe that all forms of racism, hatred, inequality and injustice don’t belong in our society,” the library board wrote, suggesting one possible statement.
Instead of going forward with the meeting, the board issued a postponement to allow Coverley to speak with the library board’s director. Following that meeting, the sheriff acknowledged that his office will continue to respond to 911 calls coming from the library.
“I am passionate about and proud of the work the Sheriff’s Office does for all members of this community,” Coverley said. “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. My response was rooted in my belief that these issues need to be openly discussed in a way that values diversity and law enforcement.”
No one with half a brain actually thought the sheriff’s office would stop responding to the library’s police calls, of course. But Coverley’s original letter is still powerful, and hopefully his message was not lost in the subsequent media coverage. Support of “Black Lives Matter” is support of defunding and abolishing the police. Any organization that decides to support this group should be made aware of the inevitable consequences.