After the community library released a public statement in support of the Black Lives Matter movement, a Nevada sheriff warned threatened to stop responding to any 911 calls placed from the library.
The Douglas County Public Library updated its diversity statement earlier this month to include its support for BLM.
“We resolutely assert and believe that all forms of racism, hatred, inequality, and injustice don’t belong in our society,” the statement read.
In response, Douglas County Sheriff Daniel Coverley urged the library to rescind its support of a movement that would have his entire department defunded, and a movement that has caused “violence, property damage, and the closing of local businesses.”
“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. I wish you good luck with disturbances and lewd behavior,” Coverley said in a statement, according to the Washington Post.
The director of the library, Amy Dodson, said the library’s statement was not intended as a jab at the police department.
“It simply was meant to state our inclusivity at the library, that we are open and welcoming to everyone and we treat everyone equally,” Dodson insisted.
The sheriff’s department later clarified that it would respond to 911 calls placed from the library, but Coverley reiterated that the library’s support of BLM creates a problem for officers who are already working in a high-stress environment.
“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,” he 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.”
Dodson and Coverley met, according to the Post, and released a joint statement in which Dodson called the altercation “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,” she added.