Another case of well-meaning, so we assume, white people getting it all wrong has surfaced yet again in the ongoing counter-arguments against the Black Lives Matter movement. Gwinett County Sheriff Butch Conway issued a statement via a local Georgia news publication where he labeled activists from the anti-police brutality movement as “domestic terrorists.”
Sheriff Conway’s statement was a response to the recent incidents involving the shooting of police officers, which he and other law enforcement officials believe has been fueled by the BLM efforts to raise awareness of police violence. While the movement has never ordained a stance to injure police, it isn’t deterring people like Conway and Harris County, Texas Sheriff Ron Hickman from aiming their darts.
More from AJC.com:
In a scathing 818-word statement, Gwinnett County Sheriff Butch Conway declared that “all lives matter” and said those making allegations of racism against law enforcement officers are “hate groups” and “domestic terrorists with an agenda.”
“To say that I’m angry would be an understatement,” he wrote in the statement, sent Tuesday to The Atlanta Journal-Constitution. “I’m angry that fringe groups who started the culture of police hatred have widened the racial divide in our country by alleging that officer involved shootings stem from racism.”
Conway’s law enforcement career began in 1973 with the Gwinnett County Police Department, and he was first elected to his current post in 1996. The silver-haired, tan-skinned sheriff generally maintains a low profile, but when he speaks publicly he tends to offer strong opinions on matters he considers important — everything from animal rescue to the controversial 287(g) immigration program.
Tuesday’s wide-ranging statement — which a prominent figure in the Black Lives Matter movement called “one of the most ignorant, uninformed and inflammatory statements” he’d ever read — references the “firestorm that began” in the aftermath of Michael Brown’s death last year in Ferguson, Mo. It says Darren Wilson, the officer who shot Brown, “became the poster child for alleged police racism and suffered damaging, irreversible life-long consequences” despite acting “within policy.”
You can read Sheriff Conway’s full statement by following this link.
Photo: Gwinnett County Sheriff’s Department