Submitted by Rhea Miller
In the late evening of Aug. 14, yet another party attempted to destroy the Black Lives Matter Memorial display on Lopez.
On Wednesday, Aug. 13, Dwight Lewis was arrested for deliberately trying to tear down the memorial. He was only able to destroy five of the signs before citizens passing by and a deputy stopped him. An earlier attempt at the destruction of the signs by a local couple had resulted in the signs being repaired by concerned citizens. This third attempt on Aug. 13, was successful in destroying all but two of the signs.
The following morning, the owners of the property held a vigil in the sign carnage. Passers-by honked their horns in support of the signs, waved, and several stopped and joined the vigil. People expressed how much the signs had meant to them.
On Sunday, Aug. 16, the Black Lives Matter memorial was restored. Previously portraits had been torn off the signs, and they were repainted and added to the memorial. A community meeting was held outside the Lopez Center. In light of the escalating violence, everyone was encouraged to maintain nonviolence. A committee was formed to plan a ceremony to decommission the signs at noon on Labor Day, Sunday, Sept. 6, outside Lopez Center.
Threats were made again on Sunday by opponents to the signs, vowing to destroy them. Until they are taken down, there is a sign-up for a nightly vigil at the signs. Nonviolence training is to be announced.