Krueger releases statement on violence toward BLM marchers in Ridley

RIDLEY, Aug. 5 – State Rep. Leanne Krueger, D-Delaware, released the following statement denouncing violence and intimidation aimed at Black Lives Matter supporters during a march over the weekend here.

“I am in awe of our neighbors, especially the young people, who organized a peaceful march through Ridley in support of Black Lives last weekend. By all accounts — from community members with whom I have spoken and video I have seen on social media — the group marching in support of Black Lives was inclusive and peaceful.

“I join others across our community in expressing horror that this demonstration of love and support for Black lives was met by a menacing group of predominantly white men, some brandishing weapons and openly intoxicated, standing outside of the Ridley Township Police Station. White men in trucks and on motorcycles were also seen driving recklessly on MacDade Boulevard, dangerously close to protesters.

“Videos posted online clearly show hostile and vitriolic language hurled at our neighbors, some of whom marched with young children, and the violent act of ripping a BLM flag out of the hands of a protester. Other incidents captured on camera and by the media suggest a potentially unsafe situation for the protesters.

“Instead of actively protecting the First Amendment rights of our neighbors, it appears that Ridley Police were both late to the scene and seemed to be protecting the white counter-protesters instead. I am gravely disappointed to have seen these images and demand an immediate and transparent investigation into the actions of law enforcement.

“Black lives matter. The reason this movement exists is that racist violence and white supremacy are still being used as tools as oppression to devalue and destroy the lives of Black people. Anyone, including police officers, should be held responsible for the unjustified killings of countless Black Americans, and for any excessive use of force during peaceful protests.

“As a white woman, I have not personally experienced the fear, the oppression or the pain that Black Americans have endured for centuries. But it is not enough to state that Black lives matter. We must, through our actions, make Black lives matter in every community and every institution.”