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Nevada sheriff tells library: Want to back Black Lives Matter? Go ahead — just don't call us for help.


Interesting turn of events

Photo by Elijah Nouvelage/Getty Images

The Douglas County Public Library in Nevada wanted to step up and support the local Black Lives Matter movement — but the county sheriff responded by saying officers would not respond to 911 calls to the facility in the event of dangerous protests and rioting.

What are the details?

According to the Washington Post, Douglas County Sheriff Daniel Coverley threatened to stop responding to any 911 calls to the library after the facility drafted a public statement in support of the local Black Lives Matter movement.

In a newly released diversity statement, the library said, "We support #BlackLivesMatter."

Another portion of the statement added, "We resolutely assert and believe that all forms of racism, hatred, inequality, and injustice don't belong in our society."

In response, Coverley issued a statement of his own.

He wrote, "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. I wish you good luck with disturbances and lewd behavior."

Coverley also argued that Black Lives Matter-related protests have only caused "violence, property damage, and the closing of local businesses."

'Meant to state our inclusivity'

Douglas County Public Library Director Amy Dodson said that the message was intended to convey a message of inclusivity.

"It simply was meant to state our inclusivity at the library, that we are open and welcoming to everyone and we treat everyone equally," Dodson insisted.

A spokesperson later told the Reno Gazette Journal that despite the sheriff's bold statement, the department would, indeed continue to respond to emergency calls from the library.

In a later statement, Coverley said his action was in response to the high-stress environment under which police across the country are forced to operate.

"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," he said Tuesday. "My response was rooted in my belief that these issues need to be openly discussed in a way that values diversity and law enforcement."

A joint statement of unity

According to the Post, Dodson and Coverley met, discussed the situation, and released a joint statement.

"Sheriff Coverley and I had a very candid conversation," Dodson said in a statement approved by the sheriff. "We agreed that we both support the people of Douglas County and this may have been an unfortunate circumstance of misunderstanding.

"The library respects and supports the work of the Douglas County Sheriff's Office and appreciates everything they do to keep our community safe," the statement concluded.

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