All Lives Matter, Black lives matter, BLM, News -

Officer wearing ‘Police Lives Matter’ pin and firefighter wearing ‘Black Lives Matter’ pin clash

All Lives Matter, Black lives matter, BLM, News -

Officer wearing ‘Police Lives Matter’ pin and firefighter wearing ‘Black Lives Matter’ pin clash

At a hearing in Eureka City Hall on Wednesday, it was determined that Humboldt Bay Firefighter Matt McFarland will not be permitted to continue wearing a Black Lives Matter pin on his uniform.

“It’s on the news every night,” McFarland said at the June 6 hearing. “There are systematic problems for people of color who are hesitant to approach anybody with a badge, anybody in a uniform.”

He had been wearing the pin since November 2016 when in March of this year Chief Bill Gillespie ordered him to remove it.

“We work to stay neutral,” Chief Gillespie has said about his orders. “We don’t take a side or a stance on any kind of a movement because while it may support some members of the community, it may offend or put off other members of the community.”

According to the Humboldt Bay Fire’s uniform policy, only one pin may be worn and it must be related to fire service and in good taste.

McFarland feels that his BLM pin meets the standards set.

— Baton Rouge cop sues DeRay McKesson over BLM rally — 

“My pin is without a doubt related to my service as a firefighter because recent political events have created an environment of heightened fear and anxiety among communities of color, and increased distrust of law enforcement. This sentiment is highly detrimental to our ability, as emergency responders, to do our jobs well,” said McFarland.

He went on to say, “Nobody is safe when a large portion of our community is reluctant to engage with emergency services when these services are needed. We can choose to continue to deny or ignore the difficult experiences of the people suffering most in our communities – or we can choose to listen to them, believe their lived experiences, and work together to improve the systems we share. I believe that this is a discussion worth having, and I want to live in a community that is courageous enough to have these conversations, even when they are messy, uncomfortable, and imperfect.”

“This is sickening that one man wants to take a stand in this community and everybody goes against him,” said community member Kim Trevillion. “I’m standing firm. I will stand with him in solidarity, and this community needs to come together.”

Jason Campillo, a fellow firefighter has a different take.

“While I support Matt as my union brother, I always support my brothers whether it’s the streets, in a fire, whatever. I do not support him on this.” Campillo stated. “I will not I can not stand for it. I’m a strict constitutionalist politically, but this is no place to espouse your political views.”


The post Officer wearing ‘Police Lives Matter’ pin and firefighter wearing ‘Black Lives Matter’ pin clash appeared first on theGrio.

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