Nebraska Sen. Ernie Chambers Compares Today's BLM Movement to 1960s Protests

June 8, 2020, 11:18 a.m. ·

Nebraska State Sen. Ernie Chambers outside a Judiciary Committee hearing Monday (Fred Knapp, NET News)

Listen To This Story

The Nebraska Legislature’s Judiciary Committee held a listening session Monday to hear people’s experiences, concerns and ideas for changing the state’s justice system.

Before the session began, NET News asked state Sen. Ernie Chambers how today’s demonstrations differ from other protests he’s seen, dating from the 1960s. Here's what he said:

"There are people of all races, religions complexions, sexual orientation, status is out here, saying the same thing that Black Lives Matter police abuse, must be ended, those who are responsible, must be held to account.

And that was not going on during the 60s. Even the white communities applauded the police when they attacked us, when the dogs were sicked on our children, fire hoses would be knocking children and old women down the street, [and] white people would applaud. That's not the way it is today.

And maybe it has something to do with what's happening in the world, and other countries where you had one guy in Tiananmen Square, facing down a tank. Well now the things that they criticize these so called totalitarian countries for are happening in this country at the hands of police and they're doing it with impunity.

And I think people now are distressed because white people, not just the hotheads, as they want to say, but little children, little girls, have been gassed by these police, old people have been attacked. There have been men placed on the ground with knees on their back and even black women.

And that gives a lie to what the mayors and others will say who are trying to soft-pedal that: this was a horrible thing that happened to Mr. Floyd, but I don't believe there's a police officer in the country who agrees with that.

But there are police officers in the country still doing it."