Raleigh police chief: Black, blue, all lives matter
Posted December 28, 2014
Updated December 29, 2014
Raleigh, N.C. — African-Americans and police officers are not the only ones whose lives matter, Raleigh Police Chief Cassandra Deck-Brown said during a remembrance ceremony Sunday.
“As I stand before you today, I can say that black lives do matter,” she said. “And as I stand before you in this Raleigh police uniform that I put on every day with pride, I must say that blue lives do matter. But as I close, I must say that we as a community must begin to recognize that all lives matter.”
The event, held at First Baptist Church in Raleigh, recognized local law enforcement and honored New York City police officers Wenjian Liu and Rafael Ramos, who were shot and killed in their police car Dec. 20 after they were ambushed by a man who proclaimed that he was out to hurt police officers.
The shooter, Ismaaiyl Brinsley, said in a social media post that he wanted to injure officers in retaliation for the deaths of Michael Brown and Eric Garner, both of whom were killed by police. Grand juries in both incidents decided not to indict the involved officers, setting off protests across the country that ranged from peaceful to violent, with businesses being burned to the ground.
Brinsley committed suicide after killing the two officers.
“I think it's important that we're all vigilant, not just about what's going on in New York, but we had officers shot at in Durham over the weekend,” Deck-Brown said. “That's the reality of where we are.”
Durham Police Officer J.T. West was sitting in his patrol car on Lakeland Street near Truman Street on Thursday when two men approached his vehicle from behind. As West exited his vehicle to speak to the men, one of them pulled out a gun and began firing, police said. Six shots were fired at West, who fired two rounds in return, police said.
It was not immediately known if West wounded either of the men. West injured his wrist when he dove behind a staircase at a vacant apartment building. He was treated and released from a hospital.
West and the two men never exchanged words, police said.
While Sunday’s service honored Liu and Ramos, those at the event said there must be an open dialogue between the community and law enforcement.
“One number is that a cop is killed in the line of duty every 58 hours, the second number is a black man is killed every 28 hours by an officer or vigilante, and both of those numbers are wrong,” said the Rev. William Barber, state NAACP president.