A middle school student’s “Black Lives Matter” poster on display in a suburban New York courthouse has generated controversy with some retired cops, according to a local television station.
The poster is part of a Black History Month exhibit at the Central Islip courthouse on Long Island. But three retired NYPD officers told CBS2 New York last week that the drawing doesn’t belong in a courthouse. One referred to it as hate speech.
“‘Black Lives Matter’ we feel is anti-police and the rhetoric that they spew is anti-police and we’ve actually had them on video walking the streets of New York City calling for the death of police officers,” retired NYPD officer and Internet radio host Ed Munoz told the station. “So for it to be hanging in a courtroom, we find outrageous.”
The drawing reads: “Stop The Violence. Black Lives Matter. Stop the Racism.”
The verdict on the poster with courthouse visitors was split, the station reported.
“I think it’s highly political and controversial,” one said.
Another said, “I don’t think it’s anti-cop, it’s just awareness of what’s going on in society today.”
State judge C. Randall Hinrichs, who oversees the courts in Suffolk County, told CBS2 there are no plans to remove the poster.
“It is not the intention of the court to put forth any anti-law enforcement message,” he told the station. “This is the cultural response of a middle school student, here in Central Islip, to present-day America.”
Hinrichs said the last thing they want to do is offend law enforcement.
“It talks about stopping violence and racism, which are admirable sentiments, and I know it’s interpreted by different people, different ways,” he said.