KANSAS CITY, MO (KCTV) — Each Friday evening for the previous 12 months, a gaggle of individuals protest downtown. They began after the homicide of George Floyd, however the group — Friday Night time Protest — needed to place a highlight on native individuals killed by police.
Final Friday evening was particular. The group needed to do one thing to commemorate the anniversary with particular friends and audio system, together with relations of these killed by police.
However, there was one thing else occurred that evening that’s pulling consideration from the protests’ objective and pictures are gaining traction on social media platforms.
A coffin draped in an American flag and lined in warning tape was delivered to the steps of the police division. Police say it’s clear what was inside: a pig, wearing a police uniform. “THE OTHER WHITE MEAT” was written on the underside. Some throughout the protest group name it artwork. However, Kansas Metropolis’s mayor and the president of the police union say it crosses the road.
There’s additionally disagreement on protection of the coffin. Protestors declare the media is utilizing the coffin as a distraction away from the actual subject of police misconduct.
Leaders of the group group Friday Night time Protest declined an on-camera interview, however stated in an announcement:
We held a memorial march downtown, with individuals’s righteous anger, grief, and celebratory pleasure in full, non-violent show.
As a substitute of specializing in the 150 victims and the households that have been current to inform their tales, consideration is now being directed at an artwork piece included subsequent to all the photographs and names of the victims.
That artwork piece was a hand-constructed coffin entitled, “Dying to White Supremacy” created by a neighborhood Black artist who has had their very own expertise with police violence.
However, the president of the police union believes the motion was sickening.
“For many right-thinking individuals, they may have a look at it as a menace,” stated Brad Lemon. “How can we not?”
He thinks the media didn’t give it sufficient consideration.
The coffin controversy comes at a uncooked time for the Kansas Metropolis Police Division. The coffin was displayed at headquarters on Friday. On Sunday, an officer died from COVID-19.
Within the assertion from Friday Night time Protest, they are saying, “The artwork piece depicting the dying of white supremacy is simply that— legitimate artwork and expression of actual Black anger.”
We requested Kansas Metropolis Mayor Quinton Lucas in regards to the controversy.
“No person needs to see anyone lifeless and when you’ve a coffin show and a police officer depicted inside in it . . . that could be a disgusting show that has no half in any of our conversations in Kansas Metropolis,” stated Mayor Lucas.
Lucas stated, “I feel those that used that show set again their trigger again. I feel they set again conversations we try to have about the way forward for policing in Kansas Metropolis. I might hope — I might anticipate — that we by no means see any show like that once more.”
The chief of Friday Night time Protest stated the mayor must weigh in on the deaths of unarmed Black and brown individuals and never be so involved a couple of piece of art work.
It’s unclear if the coffin will proceed for use as an inventive expression and included in future protests.
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