Photo Credit: Loavesofbread/Wikimedia Commons
The quote that was pulled from an article that was pulled from a conversation that I was having did not, and does not, compare Athens, GA to Ferguson, MO.
The quote and entire conversation was about the increasing militarization of ALL police forces. And as an example of it happening all over the country, including in Athens, we brought up the armored vehicle (which is, according to Merriam-Webster, a synonym for "tank"… and also Ballistic Engineered Armored Response Counter Attack Truck is hard to fit on a sign).
If Blake Aued had been at the protest and in the discussion he used a quote from and had seen all of the other signs saying "Stop Police Militarization," etc., it would have been obvious that I, nor anyone else there, was saying that ACC are abusing protesters/residents or drawing a parallel between the tragedy in Ferguson and our own problems in Athens. [Editor's note: David Schick covered it for Flagpole.] We were protesting the increased militarization of police forces across the country, not just in Athens, not just in Ferguson, the entire country and using the example of the armored vehicle.
I respect Chief Lumpkin and the local police force. I do not agree with the Department of Homeland Security's increasing distribution of military issue weapons to local police forces, and I don't agree with the acceptance of the Ballistic Engineered Armored Response Counter Attack Truck (seriously, tank sounds better) and tax dollars being used for the upkeep. Hence the sign.
I'm sorry that these comments were confused for disrespecting our local police chief/force and comparing the current plights in Athens and Ferguson. They weren't. I'm even sorrier that an article was written claiming that I and other protesters were.