Interview with Lonnie Lawrence
QUESTION 18
MADISON DAVIS LACY:

All right, Lonnie, give us your take, man, on the, ah, community's response to the acquittal of the, of the men who were accused of, ah, killing McDuffie.

LONNIE LAWRENCE:

Well, you know, I, I, I think our response, the, the response that the community had to the subsequent acquittal of those officers involved was, was shocking. I, I, I think the, and, and, and, not the community response, I should say, our response, we, we, we were surprised, we were stunned, we just knew that at least some of them would get convicted. I think the, the community's response was, was that they were outraged, and, and probably rightfully so. Um, you know, we had been doing some things to try bring this community together after this thing happened, and to have the system once again to, to say, "Well, we don't care," and that's basically what people felt, you know, that, that it was all right for these people to do what they did and not be punished for it, so to speak, um, I've never seen such a response so rapidly to such a situation. You know, I, um, I stood in my office window talking to my director at that point, because at that point I was, I was in charge of community affairs, community relations for, for the police department. I had just been a- just been appointed and promoted to that position, and I'm standing in my office window, and I look out the window, I'm talking to him on the phone, and I said to him, I said, "You're not going to believe this," I say, "But I have never in my life seen so many Black folk in one place than I see right now!" And he says, "What the hell are you talking about?" And I said, "It's about to hit the fan because they're marching down 14th Street." And just a flood of people were coming down and I, I, you know, you don't know what to do.

MADISON DAVIS LACY:

We're, we're roll out. Did we roll out--

MADISON DAVIS LACY:

I think we covered that too. Beautiful. I needed that story. Thank you brother. Thank you brother. OK, we're done.