When the Douglas County Public Library in Nevada recently announced plans to support Black Lives Matter, the local sheriff fired back by saying that if they do that, he would not be sending deputies to calls about dangerous rioting and protests.
Douglas County Sheriff Daniel Coverley threatened to stop responding to 911 calls from the library after the facility announced support for Black Lives Matter, according to the Washington Post.
“We support #BlackLivesMatter,” the library said in a new diversity statement. The facility later added, “We resolutely assert and believe that all forms of racism, hatred, inequality, and injustice don’t belong in our society.”
Sheriff Coverley, however, was not having any of it.
“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 said. “I wish you good luck with disturbances and lewd behavior.”
Not stopping there, he went on to argue that Black Lives Matter-related protests have only caused “violence, property damage, and the closing of local businesses.”
Douglas County Public Library Director Amy Dodson responded to this publicly by saying that the facility’s message was meant to be one 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,” she said.
A county official later clarified to the Reno Gazette Journal that despite what the sheriff said, officers would still go to the library if called. Coverley himself also said that his remarks were given in response to the highly stressed times we are living in.
“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,” the sheriff said on 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.”
In a moment that can only be described as rare in 2020, Dodson and Coverley ended up meeting and settling their differences in a civil manner. Afterward, they even released a joint statement.
“Sheriff Coverley and I had a very candid conversation,” Dodson explained 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.”
While we are in full support of Coverley’s initial statement, it’s also nice to see two people settling their differences on an issue such as this one in a manner that is this civilized. If only we saw more of that these days.