Photos: Tom and Nadin Abbott
Video: Tom Abbott, editing Nadin Abbott
July 29, 2016 (San Diego) The National Action Network, San Diego Chapter, called for a rally in support of the families of the two officers shot in Southcrest overnight. They laid a reef, with a blue band, for the officers, and also with multicolored flowers meaning black, white, hispanic, native american, all people. That includes police.
In what might be a shock to some, they joined in a chant of “all lives matter,” as well as “blue lives matter” and “black lives matter.” The chant of all lives matter has been used by many white supremacists over the last two years to mock the black lives matter, so it is a way to appropriate and take away the original coded meaning of the chant, while at the same time emphasizing a message of equality among all people, and that includes police.
Pastor Jared Moten, who leads the Ebenezer Baptist Church, which is very near where the shooting happened. said that it did not matter who people were. We all had a right to go to work and go home at the end of the day.
Shane Harris, President of the local chapter, emphasized that this is a call for peace in the community. He also called for the police to also recognize the pain of the community when anybody dies. He would like the police to voice solitary with the community, the way he was doing today. He also admitted that many members of the community do not trust the police, nor would stand in solitary with the police, or pray for a police officer. He was willing to lead by example, even if this was a small group. It was a moral message.
Chris Garner, who leads operations in the north county for NAN and is the Vice-president, said that as a former Marine, this was personal. It was the death in the line of duty for a public servant.
Reporting San Diego asked, becuase both officers are minority officers. Harris pointed out that minority officers many a times have to also deal with racism within the department. He added that they were going to get the support of the Black Officers Association, though their representative did not show up.
We are also posting a link to a composite video of the event today. We think it makes the point better than we can. It also shows that there is more to just one or two views in any community, and how to deal with issues. Building bridges though, is critical for NAN, and to bring peace to the community.
The speakers are Harris, Garnier and Pastor Moten.
For Harris this was personal after he spoke to Chief Shelley Zimmerman in the morning. His heart broke, and the original intent of this rally changed, It became a bridge building project.
After they placed the reef, the small group marched around the neighborhood. Their goal was to try to educate residents. Also, their message was probably not that clear, that this was not anti police. We spoke to one resident who thought this was a black lives matter march. He also was sure this was an anti police event. It was far from it.