MEMPHIS, Tenn. — Memphis and Shelby County law enforcement officers took a stand against injustice Saturday.
“We had a lot of officers that came to us that wanted to be a part of the movement that’s going on, but it probably wouldn’t have been safe for them to go downtown to join a march or something like that,” said Mike Williams, Memphis Police Association President.
Instead, dozens of Memphis Police officers and Shelby County Sheriff’s deputies took to Highway 64 outside Wolfchase Mall to show their support for the fight for racial equality.
“This isn’t about Black Lives Matter, White Lives Matter, Gay Lives Matter, any of that,” Williams said. “It’s about individuals, especially those in the position of being a police officer, that are against any mistreatment of individuals regardless of race, creed, or color.”
“We are trying to show people we support fairness, we support justice, but at the same time, we are officers,” said Gregory Amos, Shelby County Deputy Sheriff’s Association.
“We want to go out and serve the community. We want to be in the best light possible because the majority of officers wanted in some way to come out and convey a message.”
The majority of the union members that turned out Saturday were Black.
We asked these men how they weigh being both Black and an officer during this tumultuous time.
“It is a struggle,” Amos said. “The problem is, people expect us to have a different opinion, but we see things in the community, in our environment, but we are human as well and react to those things as well.”
“It’s a struggle because everyone looks at you as a bad person,” said John Grandberry, Vice President of the Afro-American Police Association.
“We try to talk to people, to say ‘look, we are not all bad. We just have to weed out the bad ones. Let’s keep moving and working together. Let’s do this together. Let’s make this community safer and everyone just get along.”
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