Protests have been going on in many parts of the U.S. ever since Minneapolis resident George Floyd, an unarmed black man, was killed by officer Derek Chauvin when the cop knelt on his neck for almost nine minutes. (Chauvin has since been arrested and charged with third-degree murder and manslaughter.) Not only have those protests been going on in Minneapolis, which is where the incident took place, but other demonstrations have taken place in Atlanta, New York City, and Boston. While these protests have primarily aimed at police officers, one Twitter user posted a video of Atlanta Police Chief Erika Shields making a major statement by actually taking the time to listen to the concerns of the citizens who are protesting these injustices.
In the video, which was posted, Shields can be seen engaging with protestors in the crowd on Friday evening. At various points, she takes time to listen to what the protestors are telling her about their concerns for the future of the country. At one point, a black woman can be seen talking to Shields and telling her, "We don't hate you — we're scared." The individual went on to share with the police chief that she is concerned for her safety, explaining that she is worried about coming across a cop who would "put their hands on me" because of the color of her skin. In response, Shields, who could be seen nodding along as the woman voiced her frustrations, said that she was at the scene to make sure that force was not used on those who were peacefully protesting. Shields then acknowledged that she has heard from many people who are "terrified" and that it is indeed a serious "problem."
The chief of police in Atl is talking to everyone in the crowd at the protest She says she wants to see a change too and is disgusted by everything that happened. She sent away a white officer we told her was being an asshole. She’s listening to every person that wants to talk pic.twitter.com/vz473t1kHC— Lilly - BLACK LIVES MATTER (@joonhopekook) May 29, 2020
In the comments section for the video, many applauded Shields for actually taking the time to listen to protestors' valid concerns and for voicing her thoughts about this "problem." Many even noted that this is the kind of leadership that needs to be shown in the face of this issue.
An Understanding Place
Racism is not a black problem. It is a white problem. We created it and we need to fix it. This police chief gets that. We need to start checking the behavior of the racists in our lives and racism when we hear/see it. It needs to be unacceptable. Period.— DW King (@Kingwoman) May 30, 2020
I admire the chief for saying this- However, people need to understand, in a lot of these cases, management is actually less of a problem than the unions. The police unions make sure no one can be summarily fired for misconduct.— Virginia Readjuster🧢 (@VAReadjuster89) May 30, 2020
The chief has no fear. Look in her eyes. She is neither fearful nor hateful. She is listening and learning. IMO, this is integral to good community policing.— Ain't I A Woman? (@beeline26) May 30, 2020
"If Women Were In Charge"
If women were in charge of the world I can assure you it wouldn't be the shit show it is right now.— Samantha Bliss (@MackenzieTattoo) May 30, 2020
A Good Example
THIS is what a good cop is. She doesn't have a chip on her shoulder. She's not yelling. She's not being dismissive. She's listening calm. She's descalating the situation. More police should follow her example. Besides the fact she's not wearing a mask 10 out of 10 job performance— James (@JWB28) May 30, 2020
Thank you for sharing. There are people in law enforcement who understand what’s going on and want to help. The vast majority of them want to serve honorably.
But yeah, we desperately need to weed out the poison apples.
I really think that we have reached a watershed moment. pic.twitter.com/hmJIUwPsko— Russell Drew (@RussOnPolitics) May 30, 2020
That’s what leadership looks like. I hope she can move her active listening into some meaningful progress and positive change.— Tony Frontier (@tonyfrontier) May 30, 2020