Coffin used in recent protest drawing criticism | Investigations
KANSAS CITY, MO (KCTV) — Every Friday night for the previous year, a group of individuals oppose downtown. They began after the murder of George Floyd, however the group — Friday Night Demonstration — wished to put a spotlight on regional individuals eliminated by authorities.
Last Friday night was unique. The group wished to do something to celebrate the anniversary with unique visitors and speakers, consisting of member of the family of those eliminated by authorities.
However, there was something else occurred that night that is pulling attention from the demonstrations’ function and images are getting traction on social networks platforms.
A casket curtained in an American flag and covered in care tape was provided to the actions of the authorities department. Authorities state it’s clear what was inside: a pig, worn a cops uniform. “THE OTHER WHITE MEAT” was composed on the bottom. Some within the demonstration group call it art. However, Kansas City’s mayor and the president of the authorities union state it crosses the line.
There is also disagreement on coverage of the coffin. Protestors claim the media is using the coffin as a distraction away from the real issue of police misconduct.
Leaders of the community group Friday Night Protest declined an on-camera interview, but said in a statement:
We held a memorial march downtown, with people’s righteous anger, grief, and celebratory joy in full, non-violent display.
Instead of focusing on the 150 victims and the families that were present to tell their stories, attention is now being directed at an art piece included next to all the pictures and names of the victims.
That art piece was a hand-constructed coffin entitled, “Death to White Supremacy” created by a local Black artist who has had their own experience with police violence.
Click here to read the full statement on Facebook.
But, the president of the police union believes the action was sickening.
“For most right-thinking people, they will look at it as a threat,” said Brad Lemon. “How can we not?”
He thinks the media didn’t give it enough attention.
The coffin controversy comes at a raw time for the Kansas City Police Department. The coffin was displayed at headquarters on Friday. On Sunday, an officer died from COVID-19.
In the statement from Friday Night Protest, they state, “The art piece depicting the death of white supremacy is just that— valid art and expression of real Black anger.”
We asked Kansas City Mayor Quinton Lucas about the controversy.
“Nobody wants to see anybody dead and when you have a coffin display and a police officer depicted within in it . . . that is a disgusting display that has no part in any of our conversations in Kansas City,” said Mayor Lucas.
Lucas said, “I think those who used that display set back their cause back. I think they set back conversations we are trying to have about the future of policing in Kansas City. I would hope — I would expect — that we never see any display like that again.”
The leader of Friday Night Protest said the mayor needs to weigh in on the deaths of unarmed Black and brown people and not be so concerned about a piece of artwork.
It’s unclear if the casket will continue to be used as an artistic expression and consisted of in future demonstrations.
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Jobber Wiki author Frank Long added to this report.