Updated: June 01, 2020 10:30 PM
Created: June 01, 2020 09:59 PM
ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. —Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham commended the peaceful demonstrators for protesting inequalities. Her goal, she said, is to make sure these people have the opportunity to stand for what they believe is right.
“It’s an opportunity to have action based platform for moving somewhere different, somewhere that every child knows that when they grow up, they’ll be treated as equals, that they’re going to get respect, that they don't have to fear police or governments,” the governor said.
The governor said the people who are using this as an opportunity to cause destruction or harm to officers will be held accountable.
State Police officers are providing backup should some local departments need those resources.
“They’re going to be arrested and going to be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law and I hope that given the effort at doing that they'll have to make restitution to these businesses that they harmed and damaged,” she said.
In a Monday press conference, President Trump encouraged state lawmakers to use National Guard resources to stop rioting, however the governor said she does not believe that will need to happen in New Mexico.
“We have to be open to making sure that people are safe, but my goal and the mayor's goal is to not have a military response,” she said.
Some groups have criticized the governor over her support for the protests due to the threat of COVID-19. The protests, which are mass gatherings, are something that the governor has advised against for weeks.
“People are wearing masks and I think that we're going to err on the side of healing these wounds, asking people to be cognizant that the virus is still out there. This is a violation of the mass gatherings, no doubt, but we're just going to take a leap of faith in protecting protesters who have no other way, quite frankly. Right? There’s no other way to be seen, to be heard, to be respected and to be clear about your message,” she said.
As for the businesses that have been damaged, the governor knows vandalism is an added obstacle.
She said they are going to do what they can to help those small businesses.
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