Over the weekend, a few hundred people gathered in Edgewood (by the police chief’s estimate), most to join the Black Lives Matter protests. Others, members of a militia, said they showed up to keep the peace. A third group were not militia members, but disagreed with the BLM protest.

In spite of the potential for conflict, the protest remained peaceful on all sides.

Edgewood’s Police Department was on hand, keeping an eye on things, but without taking an aggressive stance—officers mostly stayed in their cars near the protest, and they were dressed in their normal uniforms.

blm protestors

Black Lives Matter protestors in Edgewood June 6. Photo by Felecia Pohl.

Edgewood Mayor John Bassett said Friday that he is supportive of the group—which was largely made up of teenagers from the area, and organized by an Edgewood teen—in their right to protest. Police Chief Ron Crow said his officers were there to protect both first and second amendment rights, and to keep the public safe.

There have been hundreds of actions against journalists covering protests by police around the country as demonstrations have continued for two weeks, both in the U.S. and around the world, against police brutality. The Independent’s crew felt safe approaching our local police as the protest happened across the street. Thank you, Edgewood.

In the week leading up to the protest, fear and rumors swirled on social media, with many people worrying that the rioting and looting that has followed protests in other parts of the country, including Albuquerque, would find its way to Edgewood. Others feared for the businesses or the safety of police. All of those fears proved to be unfounded.

Thank you, Edgewood.

Thank you for remembering that we are neighbors. Thank you for keeping the teenagers who organized the protest safe, thereby encouraging their civic engagement. Thank you to those people who crossed the street (in both directions) to talk to the people on the other side about why they were there, and to perhaps understand another point of view.

Thank you, Edgewood, for being the kind of small town people want to live in.

Leota Harriman
Leota Harriman

Leota started working for The Independent in 2006, working her way up through the ranks. An employee buyout in 2010 led to her ownership of the newspaper. Leota has served on the board of the N.M. Press Association, and is currently its First Vice President. She is passionate about health and wellness, especially mental health, and loves making art. She can be reached at news.ind.editor@gmail.com.