Two incidents captured the division in America these days.
In Orange Country, Florida, a sheriff’s deputy shot and killed Salaythis Melvin, a 22-year-old Black man after running from deputies. In Los Angeles, a man, ambushed a police car and shot two L.A. County sheriff’s deputies.
“There’s no doubt in our country that the level of anger and frustration is rising,” Clippers coach Doc Rivers said before Sunday’s Game 6 against the Denver Nuggets. “There’s no doubt about it. We’ve had cops get shot in L.A. We’ve had blacks getting shot by cops. Neither is good. It just can’t be tolerated on either side.”
Rivers pinpointed directly at the source of the division.
“The White House is tone deaf to one side completely. You have to listen to both,” Rivers said. “You have to see both. You have to have compassion for both. Until that happens, we’re going to have what’s happening. Crime is crime. Crime is wrong. There’s so such thing as black-on-black crime. There’s no such thing as white-on-white crime, white-on-black crime or black-on-white crime. It’s crime. It’s human beings, and we have to stop it.”
Clippers coach Doc Rivers addressed recent shootings before Sunday’s Game 6 against the Nuggets. (Photo: Kim Klement, USA TODAY Sports)
Late Saturday night, a small group of protesters stopped two buses temporarily outside the NBA campus at the Coronado Springs Resort. Then, protesters held signs and called for justice for Melvin. The Orlando Sentinel reported that deputies went to the Florida Mall on Aug. 7 to arrest a different person on a warrant for possession of a firearm. Deputies said they found a stolen and loaded handgun from Melvin, but an attorney for the family said he was not a threat when he fled the scene.
As for the two L.A. County sheriff’s deputies, USA TODAY reported the officers are in critical condition and undergoing surgery. There were protests earlier after law enforcement fatally shot Dijon Kizzee, a Black man, after they attempted to stop him over an unspecified "code violation" as he rode his bicycle Monday afternoon through an unincorporated section of south Los Angeles.
“What is frustrating, I think for most Americans, is that it’s tone deaf right now,” Rivers said. “Someone picks a side, and that’s their side. They are ignorant to the other side. We got to get this fixed. That’s why I want people to vote.”
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