Tatyana Conner says that she attended a “Back the Blue” rally in Wayne County, New York hoping to support her “brothers and sisters in arms.” Instead, the U.S. Army veteran was met with racism.
“As I’m on the corner, I just hear the N-word being called out,” Conner told a local ABC affiliate WHAM on Monday. “Someone told me to take a knee, and that’s the part where I was like, ‘Okay, these people really don’t care that I am out here to literally support what they are doing’. Instead, they just saw me for the color of my skin.”
Conner said that when she posted the footage on social media, the clip went viral prompting an investigation from law enforcement. She also shared that organizers of the event reached out to apologize.
“They reached out and said, ‘I’m sorry, but we didn’t expect this to happen, and so I’m really sorry,’” she recounted. “I just really appreciate that.”
Organizers of the event did not comment to the media. Instead, they referred WHAM to a statement attributed to Wayne County Sheriff Barry Virts.
“It was not the intention of the rally organizers and the vast majority of people showing support to and for accountable law enforcement to cause anyone harm or alarm,” the statement read. “It is disgusting that anyone would use hateful language at a rally, in public or in private conversation. Racist and hateful speech is never acceptable.”
Virts claimed that it is the “extreme fringes” of certain organizations that cause problems for its members and movements.
New York State Assemblyman Brian Manktelow attended the rally. He blamed the incident on “a few bad apples.”
Conner expressed her disappointment with the racist treatment, saying that for many “either you support All Lives Matter, Police Lives Matter, or you support Black Lives Matter.”
“I support both,” she continued. “It’s hard for people to understand. It’s sad. It really is.”
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