An African American Mississippi police chief sparked controversy after posting “All Lives Matter” bumper stickers on all patrol vehicles.
Edwards Police Chief Torrence Mayfield explained he wanted to honor both the Dallas police officers who were killed and the deaths of black men like Philando Castile and Alton Sterling, WMC.
“It should not just be 'Black Lives Matter' or 'Blue Lives Matter,'" Chief Mayfield, who -- alongside Mayor Marcus Wallace -- funded the stickers using their own money. "But Hispanic, Muslim, Jewish -- all lives should matter and nothing warrants police officers' lives lost. We want this to resonate far and abroad. Everywhere. All communities should embrace this."
"I sympathize with those who have lost their lives after incidents with police," Mayfield added. "And I also sympathize with my brothers in blue that put on a badge and hope and pray that they are able to go home to their families at the end of the day."
He says many in the local community applaud the move.
"Letting us know that black lives matter, all lives do matter, it makes you feel free just to see police officers riding around, make you feel free and good," said Von Mack of Edwards.
Others have more mixed reactions.
"I mean it shows that they are trying to make steps into the right way," said Jivonrick Butler of Jackson. "But I don't think it's ever going to be a full acceptance or change like it's supposed to be."
While well-intentioned, others say the slogan itself is provocative, unwittingly perpetuating the problem the officer is trying to solve.
Attorney David Bedrick says in his Huffington Post blog that “All Lives Matter” actually impedes progress.
The man argues the slogan minimizes the deeper problems of racism fueling these issues and the Black Lives Matter movement.
“When people say “All Lives Matter” in response to “Black Lives Matter,” they are not simply opening their arms to the greater diversity of humanity,” writes Bedrick. “Instead, they are taking race out of the conversation. While the statement masquerades as a bright and inclusive light, in the shadow of this statement hides a willful ignorance of America’s racist past and present.”
“Instead of communicating a love for all beings, “All Lives Matter” are words of negation, repudiation, and refutation,” he adds.