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‘No Racist Police:’ Protesters March Against Police Union’s Conference

REUTERS/Sandy Huffaker

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Amber Randall Civil Rights Reporter

Protesters gathered outside the Tennessee State Capitol Monday to protest the Fraternal Order of Police (FOP), which was hosting a conference in Nashville.

Activist group Showing Up for Racial Justice (SURJ) organized the march to make the FOP feel as uncomfortable as possible while in town and to express anger at the group for its support of former Tulsa officer Betty Shelby, reports The Tennessean.

“You know there’s no space for killer cops. We don’t want that kind of behavior here. We don’t want to support a group of folks who reward it,” Dixon Irene, a member of  SURJ, said.

About a hundred people marched down Lower Broadway and interfered with traffic trying to drive through, chanting “The FOP protects white supremacy!” and “No justice, no peace, no racist police!”

Protesters shouted “Hey hey, ho ho, Betty Shelby has got to go,” believing Shelby would be a speaker at the FOP conference.  A jury cleared Shelby for her fatal shooting of Terence Crutcher, a black man she came across on the side of the highway.

Protesters also carried a gold bust of Crutcher with the sign “Honor Black Lives” attached to it. When protesters reached the state capitol, they put a white sheet over a Confederate statue of a solider and chained the bust to the statue.

“We care about the people we work with,” James Smallwood, the president of the FOP Nashville chapter, said in response to the protest. “We care about people we serve we have a passion to protect this community. I don’t understand why they don’t understand that.”

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