A left-wing student group protested an event at California State University, Fullerton, which honored police officers killed in the line of duty.
While the school's College Republicans displayed ribbons as part of a Law Enforcement Appreciation Day last Tuesday, the Daily Titan reported that members of Students for Quality Education distributed a handout titled, “Why BLUE LIVES MATTER is Problematic."
The Daily Titan said SQE members declined to comment, the SQE handout also notes that Blue Lives Matter — a movement that emphasizes police officers' well being and the deadly risks they take — "creates an opposition to 'Black Lives Matter'" and "coopts and appropriates a matter of life and death, a matter of indisputable racism, a matter of who is holding the gun."
Besides standing for free tuition for all California residents, SQE members also have supported illegal immigrants and transgender students.
What did other students have to say?
Edward Orellana told the paper that police officers don't make distinctions between political parties.
“Being Republican or Democrat doesn’t matter," he added to the Daily Titan. "These guys are protecting people no matter who they are."
Hansol Suh, who coordinated the event, told the paper that police officers have "paid the ultimate price by giving up their lives to keep Americans safe and to keep our communities safe."
College Republicans President Amanda McGuire told the Daily Titan she was disappointed that Law Enforcement Appreciation Day became a source of controversy.
“I think it’s a shame that now it’s become a little bit politicized," she added to the paper. "I understand there’s two sides to every story, but it’s really important to make sure that we’re honoring those who are selflessly serving the community."
What did campus police have to say?
Cpl. Tom Perez of the University Police Department told the Daily Titan that politics don't matter to officers.
“We’re trying to show the human aspect of everything. Whatever political views you have, that’s great. We’re all a melting pot of political views here. We appreciate that," he added to the paper. "We’re not trying to steer anybody in different directions."
But he did notice the opposition to police during the event — and Perez emphasized officers will listen to anyone who wants to dialogue with them, the Daily Titan reported.
“We also have people that don’t appreciate us," Perez told the paper. "They’re walking by, making comments and that’s fine, too. We just want to open up a dialogue with people and just hear both sides."
(H/T: Campus Reform)