NEW BEDFORD (CBS) — As protests in response to George Floyd’s death continue throughout the country, some police officers everywhere are choosing to kneel with the protesters. In New Bedford, at least one officer knelt with a group of peaceful Black Lives Matter protesters.
“When the lines of communication are opened, that’s how we can get over diverse times and challenging times,” said New Bedford Police Chief Joseph Cordeiro.
Cordero has spoken with the protesters daily and offered them his card.
“Can you imagine Dr. Martin Luther King, if he were here today, to have a mayor of a city, a chief of police say ‘I believe in your words, I believe in what you are trying to achieve and we want to help you.’ Where would we be today? Further along. And that’s what we need to do,” Cordeiro said.
Worcester Police similarly kneeled during a rally. Around the country, police have been seen hugging protestors, shaking their hands, and marching with them.
According to Cordero, these actions need to continue to build trust with the community and truly listen to them.
“There’s still a level of mistrust and we have to continue to work on that every day and we have to expect that there is going to be setbacks.”
Cordero said the police officer who knelt wasn’t instructed to do so but Cordero is happy he did.
“To support human dignity and equality and respect for our community,” said Cordero. “To have that mind shift of being a servant and a guardian, more than just enforcer.”