LOS ANGELES – This is a story of two stars with two completely different causes. Joy Villa is a singer, who held a blue lives matter prayer circle at the hospital Thursday, where one of the Sherriff deputies shot on Saturday is still recovering.
“Blue lives matter. Black lives matter. White lives matter. All lives matter,” said Villa.
“That’s not something racist to say. That’s unification.”
Kendrick Sampson is star actor who is a part of the Black Lives Matter movement. He was a part of the weekly protest outside of the district attorney’s office. They want to defund the police and use those resources in other ways.
“Away from those symptoms which terrorize and abuse our communities and put them into systems that care for our communities in the way that it should,” Sampson said.
He and his group feel the current form of policing in America comes from oppression and its history of slavery. It’s why he wants to see a complete change of law enforcement as we know it.
“There’s never been a point in history where the Black community, the indigenous communities, brown folks say like ‘Ooh, I’m glad police are here,'” Sampson explained.
Villa and the folks at the prayer circle don’t share those sentiments. She calls herself an "Afro-Latina patriot" and says policing can’t be inherently racist because of the number of Black people who are on the force.
“Is that because they want to chase runaway slaves, of course not. It’s because they believe in keeping our communities safe,” said Villa.
“And when a person calls 911, the 911 operator doesn’t say, 'Are you Black? Are you white? Are you Latina?' They say, 'What is your emergency?'”
Villa admits there are bad cops, but believe law enforcement is vital for community safety.
“And it’s not gonna get better if we let Black Lives Matter cause dissention and chaos and say let’s just defund the police officers,” she said.
“We’re already in a chaotic world. This country was founded on violence, chaos, genocide, and slavery and has continued to operate that way for the most vulnerable communities,” Sampson retorted.
The blue live matter supporters say their message is about peace.
But Sampson doesn’t see it that way.
“Blue lives matter was a response to Black Lives Matter. That makes it inherently anti-black,” he said.
“We can’t make Black power take over because then it becomes Black supremacy,” said Villa.
They have two distinct voices, living in one world. But there’s zero agreement.