NAACP Vancouver Branch issues statement on Oct. 30 violent protest
The NAACP Vancouver organization issued a statement Sunday condemning the actions that took place in Vancouver following the officer-involved shooting that claimed the life of 21-year-old Kevin Peterson Jr., a Camas resident and Union High School graduate.
Peterson was killed in a confrontation with officers from the Clark County Sheriff’s Office on Thursday (Oct. 29) evening. The following evening, a vigil was scheduled in Hazel Dell at the site of his death. The vigil was attended by about 300 protesters of law enforcement as well as counter protesters. The protests moved to the downtown Vancouver area late Friday night and into Saturday morning, where protesters committed violence that led to the arrest of six individuals by the Vancouver Police Department.
Here is the full statement from NAACP Vancouver:
“NAACP Vancouver condemns the actions that resulted in damage and destruction during last night’s (October 30th) protest in Esther Short Park. We want to make it absolutely clear that the NAACP Vancouver was not involved in nor consulted in organizing the protest. We also want to make it abundantly clear to the participants that your non-peaceful behavior is totally antithetical to our values as an organization and as black citizens of Vancouver.
“We absolutely supported a peaceful vigil recognizing the death of Kevin Peterson, empathizing with his family, and calling for a transparent and expedient investigation of the death of yet another black person in Vancouver at the hands of local law enforcement.
“To the people involved in organizing the protest, we appreciate those of you who peacefully demonstrated. To those who committed damage, please do not assume that anarchy in any way, historically or now, defines or serves the needs or desires of the NAACP or black citizens in Vancouver. Furthermore, we offer our support and invite community organizers and activists who share our values to contact us for input about holding events in Vancouver. We have information about our community and resources that can help demonstrations be successful. The location where the demonstration and much of the damage and destruction took place houses and serves the needs of many elderly, low-income, and disabled BI-POC citizens. Your protest in no way respected or served them.
“We will continue the fight in the tradition of non-violence.’’