A recent Olympian survey shows that students and local police agree on most things related to Black Lives Matter and disagree on others.
The survey showed that 83 percent of students stated that they support the BLM movement, with 89 percent of students saying they support the non-violent protests.
Alameda County Sheriff’s Sgt. Ray Kelly agreed with the students’ support of non-violent protests, saying that he likes the BLM movement bringing attention to social issues that need attention.
Both students and Kelly do not support the violent protests that have occurred over the past year, with students expressing 16 percent for protests that turn violent.
Some students and Kelly have different perspectives when it comes to the recent police shootings in the United States. Kelly spoke out against some of the shootings, but he also said that since people are now getting a glimpse of the fast decisions police officers have to make and are reacting to these decisions quickly, social media has politicized shootings before the evidence gets out there.
“Some of [the shootings] are problematic. Some officers have made bad judgments. But for some of [the shootings], the people have made decisions about them before the evidence gets out,” said Kelly.
Jasmine Ng and Shreya Varma, co-presidents of the #DiversifyOurNarritive Club on campus, both gave different perspectives than Kelly on the recent shootings: “Our immediate response to these shootings were feelings of devastation but unfortunately we were not shocked … Police officers who are supposed to make all citizens feel safe when they’re around, only bring, specifically [people of color], discomfort and worry.”
Brie Patton, president of the CVHS Black Student Union, echoed the sentiments of Ng and Varma on the shootings. “I think it’s natural to be saddened at first, and that sadness quickly turns to anger when you begin to look deeper and you begin to see the reason and all the people they left behind,” Patton said.
Students and Kelly also somewhat agree on the defund the police movement that is tied to BLM. Student support of that is split while Kelly does not support it.
Students have been involved with protests relating to BLM before. Last year, many students were involved in the protests that took place last fall and summer in Castro Valley. Before that, the CVHS football team took a knee for the national anthem.
Kelly says that he will support any safe student protests and that the police will protect students from possible danger at these protests, like the one that went on last year.
“Talk to your parents, talk to your fellow students, your counselors, your family. Educate yourselves about these issues. If you come to a decision that you want to speak out, we will support you if you protest legally,” said Kelly.
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“Don’t be afraid to talk to law enforcement. Hear their side of the issues.”
“Some of them are problematic. Some officers have made bad judgements. But for some of them, the people have decisions about them before the evidence gets out.”
“Glad to hear that many CVHS students still believe that police have a role.”
“People just now are getting a glimpse into how police have to make split second decisions.”