Lupe Valdez, the sheriff of Dallas County, Texas, spoke during the Democratic National Convention, giving a mostly apolitical speech that called for understanding between police and minorities.
She also led delegates in a moment of silence for law enforcement officers who were killed in the past several weeks. Three officers were killed in Louisiana and five were killed in Dallas.
Valdez, the only Hispanic sheriff in the United States, said that open dialogue between law enforcement and minorities is the only way to restore positive relationships.
“We lost five officers in Dallas,” Valdez said in her speech. “It’s been a tough time for law enforcement communities all across America that have lost officers to violence. I’ve been trying to make some kind of sense out of it, but violence is not the answer. Yelling, screaming and calling each other names is not going to do it.”
She added that an echo chamber, or merely talking “within your own group” and “using your own language … goes nowhere.”
“We have to start listening to each other. The only way to serve your community is to know your community,” she said.
Valdez then closed her speech with a moment of silence for the slain officers.
Some media outlets reported that some members in the audience shouted “Black Lives Matter” during the moment of silence.
It was noted by several reporters, including BuzzFeed’s Ruby Cramer, New York Times reporter Jason Horowitz, and Mother Jones reporter Timothy Murphy.
A couple of shouts of “Black Lives Matter” as Dallas sheriff Lupe Valdez leads moment of silence for fallen officers
— DENALI (@timothypmurphy) July 29, 2016
Shouts of Black Lives Matter during moment of silence for fallen police officers.
— Jason Horowitz (@jasondhorowitz) July 29, 2016
During moment of silence for fallen police officers, a few people in the hall shout, “Black Lives Matter!”
— Ruby Cramer (@rubycramer) July 29, 2016