Photos by Ty O’Neil & Bob Conrad | Video by Dana Nollsch
The Black Lives Matter march in Reno yesterday was peaceful and passionate. Hundreds marched from the downtown arch to City Plaza from 7 to about 8:45 p.m.
Despite some verbal skirmishes at the event, the Reno Police Department (RPD) praised the community for a peaceful march. RPD officers monitored the event from a distance aside from officers who helping with traffic control.
“Thanks to the continued efforts of the Reno Police Department to be completely integrated into our community with the strong relationships we have built within our area helped ensure the safety of everyone who participated in the Black Lives Matter march this evening,” said RPD Public Information Officer Timothy Broadway. “With the cooperation of event organizers, community leaders and the great citizens of Reno, the Black Lives Matter march was relatively peaceful with the approximately 200 to 300 supporters and non-supporters of the march all gathering in downtown Reno. Reno PD saw no major incidents or arrests prior to, during or after the event.”
The event was organized by two 16-year-olds, Carissa Garcia and Brooke Fimby, and 25-year-old Krystal Robinson who expressed sympathy with national events in which predominantly black men have been killed at the hands of police. Many organizations, such as Progressive Leadership Alliance of Nevada and ACTIONN, helped and supported the event.
ThisisReno live-streamed the rally on Facebook with comments ranging from supportive to hostile.
“This rally does nothing, these people won’t do anything to make a change. They just yell and scream but they don’t attend community meetings, they don’t do outreach, they don’t create jobs, they don’t help black youth, they just yell and scream,” wrote PJ Degross.
Many complained that the event did not emphasize “all lives matter,” while others pointed out that Black Lives Matter is meant to raise awareness about blacks who have been killed by police.
“All lives do matter, but some do not treat people of color as if they do. So that’s why we remind you. #blacklivesmatter too!” wrote Mandy Williams.
A recent article in Vanity Fair, “What the Data Really Says About Police and Racial Bias,” summarized academic studies, legal rulings and media investigations, that, while inconclusive, tend to show that racial and cultural minorities are disproportionately targeted by law enforcement.
“Sometimes, studies and investigations reveal evidence of intentional bias; other studies point to broader societal and institutional factors that lead to implicit bias,” the article stated. “Taken together, the research paints a picture of a nation where a citizen’s race may well affect experience with police — whether an encounter ends with a traffic stop, the use of police force, or a fatal shooting.”
Watch a video of the rally below.