A Library Voiced Its Support for BLM. A Sheriff Pounced

Dan Coverley has backtracked since telling Nevada library not to call 911
By Jenn Gidman,  Newser Staff
Posted Jul 29, 2020 10:10 AM CDT
Sheriff to Library Supporting BLM: Don't Call 911 for Help
Washoe County District Attorney Chris Hicks, right, answers a reporter's question during a news conference in Reno, Nev., on Jan. 28, 2019, as Douglas County Sheriff Dan Coverley, left, and Douglas County District Attorney Mark Jackson, center, look on.   (AP Photo/Scott Sonner)

A Nevada library recently posted a proposed statement on diversity and inclusion, and it didn't sit well with the county sheriff. The Douglas County Public Library "denounces all acts of violence, racism, and disregard for human rights. We support #Black Lives Matter," the library wrote in the statement first shared publicly last week, per the Washington Post. Sheriff Dan Coverley reacted Monday with his own open letter on the sheriff's office website. "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," Coverley wrote. "I wish you good luck with disturbances and lewd behavior, since those are just some of the recent calls my office has assisted you with." Coverley expanded on his reasoning, noting the "violence" and "property damage" that have taken place at BLM protests nationwide.

"To support this movement is to support violence and to openly ask for it to happen in Douglas County," he wrote. Library director Amy Dodson says the diversity statement was meant to be one of inclusion, not anti-police. "I want the sheriff's office to know we do love and support our law enforcement here," she says. "I think a lot of this has been a big misunderstanding." After she met with Coverley, he agreed. "This has been a difficult time to be a law enforcement professional," he said in a joint statement issued Tuesday by the library and sheriff's office. "My response was rooted in my belief that these issues need to be openly discussed in a way that values diversity and law enforcement." A county rep notes that deputies will continue to respond to all 911 calls, including those at the library. (Read more Black Lives Matter stories.)

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