Lee County NAACP honors law enforcement with vigilance



The Lee County NAACP held a candlelit ceremony to support law enforcement following a recent spate of violence against officers.

In New York City, two police officers died after a shooting in Harlem.

More recently, two officers were shot on Wednesday in Ferguson.

Although the Lee County NAACP has had issues with law enforcement, NAACP President James Muwakkil said violence is never the right way to solve problems.

The goal of the vigil is to show law enforcement officers that they are appreciated for their daily sacrifices.

Antonette Gilmore said she joined because she wanted to show her support.

Antonette Gilmore, of Fort Myers, said: “I haven’t seen it done in a long time, but it shows me solidarity. “We need our police officers to support us and come together and unite with everyone, to make things possible.”

Vigilance is meant to show solidarity between law enforcement and those they protect.

“We want to make sure that we also protect them,” Muwakkil said of law enforcement. “And that’s why it’s important for us to say that we don’t support any act of violence against our law enforcement.”

Fort Myers Police Lieutenant Shawn Yates highly appreciated this action.

So does the rest of the department, he said.

“There are times when it’s very dangerous and knowing that there are community members out there supporting us and doing that when we’re out and about and taking the risks of life or not coming home, that can meant a lot to the officers they knew. community is behind them when they’re out there doing it for them,” Yates said.

Yates said the police department has worked hard over the years to build relationships with the community.

“We are not successful, as a police department, unless we work in solidarity with the community,” Yates said.

Lee County NAACP Assistant Secretary Jacquelyn McMiller said she agrees.

“We knew this was not something they had to do, this was something they chose to do,” McMiller said. “It comes from your heart that you want to get out and you want to make a difference in the community you live in.”

Mike Love, with the NAACP, said this was the first chance they had to address the violence against law enforcement.

“We wanted to tackle this in a strong way,” Love said.

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