Riverside County, California Sheriff Chad Bianco and members of his department took a knee alongside Black Lives Matter protestors on Monday. According to Bianco, this is the first step between law enforcement and community members coming together to find a solution that both sides can agree with.
"The unfortunate part of this is everybody – this is a huge divide. There's no work in here, there's no voices being heard. It's just a big huge divide. And the leaders of this have to work with us to make a difference," the sheriff said, pointing to protestors. "And if this is what starts it then this is what starts it."
Bianco said he is "100 percent" working with protestors by taking a knee. In his eyes, this small gesture is a stepping stone that will improve his community.
"The message to the community is this does nothing. This does nothing. Your voices mean everything. Actions do not. Actions are contrary to what our voices say sometimes and if we all – the leaders of us and all of us together – want to come together to make a difference, especially here, especially here, then the only way we're going to do that is together, not individually. " he said. "All you gotta do is look at their signs. You look at their signs and yet somehow it's supposed to demand respect? Respect gets respect, from us to the community and the community to us."
"If it has to start right here in the middle of the intersection then it does," Bianco said.
VIDEO: Moment of solidarity between Riverside County Sheriff, deputies and protesters: pic.twitter.com/6jbjfINaXG— Oscar Flores (@oflores) June 2, 2020
There are just some of the signs that Bianco was referencing:
WARNING: STRONG LANGUAGE
RIVERSIDE HAD A BEAUTIFUL PEACEFUL PROTEST ???? pic.twitter.com/Qw9tB35V3l— naomi??????? ?? (@naomikcard) June 2, 2020
thank you riverside ???? pic.twitter.com/FhwGrKkwcd— , (@satturated) June 2, 2020
some pics i got from the riverside protest ? pic.twitter.com/OJ5g1Y3on7— danielle ? (@aalyssadaniele) June 2, 2020