An unlikely protester has emerged in Bay Area cities such as Berkeley and Oakland. Unlike most of those who have taken to the streets to demonstrate against police brutality and killings of unarmed citizens, Richmond Chief of Police Chris Magnus is himself an active member of law enforcement.
Standing side-by-side with demonstrators along Macdonald Avenue, Richmond’s police chief held a “#BlackLivesMatter” sign along with nearly 100 protesters, who also listening to speakers playing speeches by Martin Luther King Jr.
— nate mezmer (@natemezmer) December 10, 2014
“I’ve never seen anything like it, not in Richmond, not anywhere,” resident Mary Square, told Bay Area News.
“All these police, and the police chief, holding signs calling for an end to police violence,” she continued, “I’m going to tell my kids.”
Police Chief Chris Magnus said, “I spoke with my command staff, and we agreed it would be nice to convey our commitment to peaceful protest and that black and brown lives do matter.”
Magnus continued, saying that he wanted “to help bridge the gap that we understand sometimes exists between police and community around certain issues.”
Deputy Chief Allwyn Brown, was not far away. He said that chief’s participation in the protests sends a clear message that they think is positive.
“We get the conversation about use of force, we get it,” Brown stated. “This is an opportunity for all police departments, including ours, to look inward and examine our approaches and get better.”
(Article by Jackson Marciana; images via the Richmond Standard, KTVU and Kristopher Skinner; h/t Bay Area News Group)