- The Washington Times - Wednesday, December 17, 2014

A California police chief is defending his participation in a police brutality protest where he appeared in uniform holding a “#BlackLivesMatter” sign.

“Sure, I would do it again,” Richmond Police Chief Chris Magnus told a local CBS affiliate.

“I looked at [the sign] for a minute and realized this is actually pretty innocuous, the idea that black lives matter is something that I would think that we should all be able to agree upon. Of course, my feeling is all lives matter,” he said. “I thought it was an important gesture of goodwill.”

Chief Magnus said he was surprised by the negative reaction he received after an onlooker snapped a photo of him at the protest. The Richmond Police Officers’ Association accused him of breaking the law for politicking in uniform, the CBS affiliate reported.

“It certainly wasn’t intended to be a political statement — it was intended to be a humane statement,” Chief Magnus explained. “I can understand how it is hard for a lot of police officers, especially given what has gone on in some the protests, the violence, the ugly anti-police sentiment.”

On the other hand, Chief Magnus said he would be “appalled” if he saw an officer holding a sign that was supportive of former Ferguson Police Officer Darren Wilson, who fatally shot Michael Brown.

“I would have been appalled. And I think there is a real difference because my statement was about building bridges,” he told the news station. “A statement like supporting Darren Wilson, especially under the circumstances, is incredibly divisive — I think inappropriate.”

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