San Joaquin County city officials invite BLM activists for dialogue with law enforcement

Local News

WOODBRIDGE, Calif. (KTXL) – City officials in San Joaquin County are trying to start a dialogue between Black Lives Matter activists and law enforcement.

“I am a grandma, and everybody who comes here is welcome,” said Terry Wells-Brown of the Woodbridge Municipal Advisory Council.

Saturday was the sixth time Terry Wells-Brown hosted “Coffee with a Cop” in Woodbridge, but this time she got word that Black Lives Matter planned to protest.

So, she set up a spot across the street from Oddfellows, with coffee, doughnuts and pizza, if they were there around lunchtime.

“We decided we were going to treat this with hospitality instead of hostility,” Wells-Brown explained.

Members of Progressive Unity, who said they stand with Black Lives Matter, showed up.

“If we want change, we have to be the change,” Wells-Brown explained. “To sit down and start the dialogue.”  

Vine, with Progressive Unity in Lodi, told FOX40 the conversation with the other side would always be civil with no animosity.

“There’s a lot of people who want to spread a message, and want their voice to be heard, but don’t necessarily feel comfortable doing so in the presence of so many law enforcement agencies,” Vine explained.

Vine said they showed up to share their collective message.

“Stand up and make it clear that we stand against police brutality and we stand against injustice. Because I think too often, it’s about praising the police. There’s never accountability,” Vine explained.

“I appreciate, admire and respect each one of them, and I honor each one of them. Wherever I’m at, they’re always welcome to be,” said San Joaquin County District Attorney Tori Berber Salazar.

Salazar said she’s walked alongside protesters last year following the death of George Floyd.

“Sit down. Talk with us. The door is always open, and we want to learn from you,” Salazar said.

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