Black Lives Matter DC speaks out against killing police officers
WASHINGTON (ABC7) —
After a week of violence across the country, the message is stronger than ever for Black Lives Matter DC.
"I have no desire to work with or for the police," said April Goggans, founder of Keep DC 4 Me, a branch of Black Lives Matter DC.
Goggans is nearing her breaking point after the killing of two African-American men this week.
"Police, we believe, are a force that incites more violence, anxiety and fear," Goggans said.
Police are trying to bridge the gap between them and the community, but still so many are not confident officers want to protect and serve them.
About 30 people met Saturday morning at the Anacostia Neighborhood Library in Southeast DC.
Organizers want to end violence in their neighborhoods, but without police.
"Killing police goes against what we stand for. We want the police as a profession to go away. We don't want them dead, we just want them to get a different job," said Aaron Goggans, Black Lives Matter DC.
The American flag was flying at half-staff at the National Law Enforcement Officer's Memorial, and flowers were on the ground to honor the five police officers killed in Dallas during a peaceful protest.
"I feel like that's a separate incident that happened, and all I know since then I've been getting death threats," Goggans said.
Keep DC 4 Me believes community members can hold each other accountable and keep neighborhoods in Southeast safe.
"We can also say we don't have all the answers, but we know more police is not the answer," Goggans said.
Some people walking through the national memorial Saturday felt differently and said a city without police is not a good idea.
"I feel like people are quick to blame the police because of these two incidents and we really need to look at the picture as a whole and what's going on in the black community, said Grace Fiacre, a graduate student at American University.
"I've seen lawlessness in Afghanistan and in Iraq and it's really really ugly, so I think there is reason to have law and there's reason to have people that enforce it," said Lieutenant Colonel Jonathan Rolfe, U.S. Army.
Church leaders from more than 400 local congregations planned to gather on the National Mall Saturday for prayer and a call to action. They will pray for the families of the men killed by police, and for the families of the five officers killed in the line of duty on Thursday in Dallas.