MARYVILLE, Mo. — With every act of violence committed against law enforcement officers and every video circulated of a person in a minority group killed at the hands of a police officer, tensions multiply and divide.
Now Maryville residents face the fallout, searching for the best way forward.
Nodaway County Prosecuting Attorney Bob Rice held a press conference Wednesday morning to make a public statement of support for law enforcement officials. Rice said he was motivated to do so by violence against law enforcement officers over the past three weeks in Dallas, Baton Rouge, and recently Kansas City.
“As I monitor the events throughout the nation, it seems to me that there are organized calls for violence against police,” his written statement reads.
These “organized calls,” Rice said, come from “certain groups” operating to create chaos.
Although Rice never mentioned the Black Lives Matter movement specifically, other officials around the country blame the group’s rhetoric for increasing anti-police sentiment.
In an interview with CNN on Sunday, Milwaukee County Sheriff David Clarke attributed the violence against law enforcement to the movement. Clarke said that since the movement began two years ago, the anti-police sentiment has “fueled this rage against the American police officer.”
Supporters of the movement counter these statements online, in nonviolent demonstrations, and in public statements that Black Lives Matter doesn’t condone violence to anyone. On the movement’s official website, it states, “it is not an anti-police-officer movement” and is not an “anti-white proposition.”