Local skate shop sticker aimed at addressing police brutality, stirring up controversy
SALISBURY, Md. – Lurking Class Skate Shop in Salisbury is using decals to bring attention to racism and police brutality.
However, after a wave of comments and shares on social media, some say the images depicted on those decals may be sending the wrong message.
On one of the graphics you’ll see a shoe stepping on an officer with blood spewing out the sides. Other graphics say phrases like Black Lives Matter and End Racism.
Bryan Whipple, the owner of the shop, tells 47ABC that the graphics represent fighting against injustice, ending police brutality, and demanding change.
For some in support of the Black Lives Matter movement, they say, these images spark a tough conversation that’s long overdue.
“That particular decal it’s just something I would put into that category as art, expressing something that’s uncomfortable and it starts a conversation. I think the decal did it’s job, it started a stir,” said Executive Director of Fenix Youth Project Inc, Amber Green.
But Wicomico County Sheriff, Mike Lewis, tells us while it’s considered freedom of speech, it sends the wrong message.
“We protect people everyday for doing that, he has every right to do that. I think it’s despicable, I think it’s disgusting. If that’s what they want to do, let them do it. I’ll keep doing my job,” said Lewis.
47ABC reached out to the owner of the skate shop after the stickers caught heat on social media. He told us, he didn’t want to go on camera but he did provide a statement. It reads: “The shop does not tolerate racism in any form – from anyone – or anyone that defends it. BLACK LIVES STILL MATTER!”
However, Sheriff Lewis, stands by his words, saying the stickers are the wrong way to go about this.
“If that’s what they feel they need to do to survive a failing business downtown, to sell dollar stickers, let them keep doing what they’re doing,” said Lewis.
For others, it’s only the start to seeing change in the community.
“If it sparked any type of animosity, sparked any type of raising eyebrow, I think it’s your duty, whoever’s offended, to bring it up and use your voice but to use it in a professional way as well as in a way that’s going facilitate change,” said Green.
Whipple tells us $500 dollars of the proceeds from the decals went directly to the Fenix Youth Project Inc. He also plans on continuing to sell them in his shop.