Suffolk County, New York residents are furious that a Black History Month poster the reads, “Stop The Violence. Black Lives Matter. Stop The Racism,” has been prominently displayed in a county courtroom.
“’Black Lives Matter,’ we feel, is anti-police and the rhetoric that they spew is anti-police and we actually have them on video walking the streets of New York City calling for the death of police officers,” Ed Munoz, a retired NYPD officer and talk show host told CBS2. “So for it to be hanging in a courtroom, we find outrageous.”
Some residents are don’t see the poster as “anti-police.”
“I don’t think it’s anti-cop. It’s just awareness of what’s going on in society today,” one resident said, according to CBS2.
Still, there are several former law enforcement members who are expressing their frustration with the sign on behalf of those active officers who are prohibited from talking to the press.
“All lives matter,” retired NYPD Det. Glen Klein said. “Not just black, not just blue, all lives matter.”
“If it affects a juror, the fate of a police officer lies in their hands,” retired NYPD Lt. John Pribetich said.
The court solicited artwork from a local middle school in hopes that it would receive a piece it could use to celebrate different cultures. The Black Lives Matter poster was one of the works they received.
“It is not the intention of the court to put forth any anti-law enforcement message,” C. Randall Hinrichs, Suffolk County’s chief administrative judge said. “This is the cultural response of a middle school student, here in Central Islip, to present-day America.”
CBS2 reports that despite the protestations, they don’t have plans to take down the controversial display.