WASHINGTON - Many people are still talking about video we posted on our FOX 5 Facebook page taken at a Black Lives Matter protest held in Northeast D.C. on Wednesday. The protesters formed a human chain to block off traffic while there were also some tense confrontations between protesters and pedestrians.
Some people walking in the area were attempting to pass by the protesters, but these demonstrators would not allow them to pass. We captured one man attempting to get to work having some words with protesters who would not allow him to continue on the sidewalk citing his "white privilege."
In another incident, a father on a bicycle with his children in tow tried to get through, but were corralled by some of the protesters and forced out.
We received a lot of reaction to these interactions from FOX 5 viewers on our Facebook page and it came from people of all backgrounds.
Francine Shin Digg Art commented, “A lost opportunity to get someone to understand what BLM really means. It's about inclusion, safety and respect. You just shot down the very message you're trying to send.”
Liz Kibble wrote: “I'm really surprised to see so many comments complaining about the protestors. This is a protest a peaceful one where...yes...a street or sidewalk is blocked. Sorry if it's SO inconvenient for you to walk down another parallel street but the lives that have been affected are way more inconvenienced.”
Gary Batey chimed in by saying, “It certainly seems to me that gentleman has as much right to use a public sidewalk as those blocking it. I find it unacceptable that police refuse to ask those involved to conduct themselves in a lawful manner, which includes recognizing the rights of others to utilize public spaces.”
Sources confirmed to FOX 5 there were calls made by officers to D.C. Police Chief Cathy Lanier asking for permission to arrest protesters standing on private property as well as blocking the street and sidewalks. But the police chief issued orders to not make any arrests.
On Thursday, D.C. police disputed some parts of our report on Wednesday and said Assistant Chief Lamar Greene would be available for an interview in reference to the lack of action by officers on the ground on Wednesday.
We waited all day for the interview after being repeatedly told it would happen. However, it seems Greene was never made aware of our request and we are now waiting for clarification from D.C. police.
Another Black Lives Matter protest was scheduled for Thursday in front of the Republican National Committee’s offices on the Capitol complex, but not enough people showed up.