After three young Black Lives Matter activists were verbally abused by a passerby last Thursday afternoon, a Creston RCMP officer delivered a different message – kindness and support.
The girls, three sisters who do not wish to be named, were drawing a chalk mural in support of Black and Indigenous people on a concrete retaining wall on the side of Hillside Street. Their messages, reading ‘Wake up Creston’ and ‘Black Lives Matter’, came after the May 25 death of George Floyd, a Black man, under the knee of a Minneapolis police officer, which sparked protests against law enforcement across the world.
The oldest sister claimed the woman asked them if they were being paid, and would not accept that they decided to write the messages of their own prerogative.
A heated, racialized conversation then broke out, with accusations and insults flying back and forth.
The sisters said the woman called the police after leaving.
A Mountie did show up at the scene, but according to the girls, without confrontation. Instead, he offered encouragement.
“[The officer] informed us he was just doing his duty, and we weren’t doing anything illegal as long as we weren’t promoting hate messages,” said the oldest sister.
The officer left, and returned a short time later – with Gatorade and two packs of Skittles.
Some homeowners in the area also offered some morale-boosting support to the sisters, with one bringing them some more chalk and another saying the girls’ drawings were a much welcome improvement on the “ugly graffiti” which usually covers the wall.
The girls said some people on Facebook expressed concern that they didn’t ask for permission.
“We had not, but they supported it, and we will be careful to do so in the future.”