On one hand, we have major US cities – Los Angeles, New York and Minneapolis – that are either calling for or have begun defunding of their police departments, and on the other we have the Black Lives Matter movement openly declaring war on police and revealing plans to train “our people to defend our communities in Black Panther style armed patrols.”
‘We want liberation. We want the power to determine our own destiny. We want freedom from an oppressive government, and we want the immediate end of government sanctioned murder by the police.
‘And we prepare to stop these government sanctioned murders by any means necessary.
‘We are preparing and training our people to defend our communities.'
The bold and potentially inflammatory statement will likely infuriate those who have grown angry with days of BLM protests that have sparked violence and destruction across America.
Newsome is currently in Los Angeles – a city devastated by rioting this past few days – where he held a think tank attended by members of the BLM Greater New York leadership and ‘military advisors'.
The meeting was held at the offices of NCredible Entertainment, owned by actor and musician Nick Cannon, a fervent BLM supporter who also attended.
In a conference room at the trendy compound in Burbank, Newsome said the group hammered out details of the ‘Black Opts' blueprint – which stands for Black Opportunities – a new direction he hopes will be the beginning of the liberation of black people.
Black Lives Matter has tens of thousands of activists protesting the death of George Floyd in dozens of cities around America and across the world.
Newsome claims that police have waged war on black people for decades but his chapter is ‘escalating' the battle.
‘We're talking about self-defense. We're talking about defending our communities,' he explains. ‘You know what it's like to see a taser pointed at a seven-year-old, you know what it's like to see a 67-year-old black woman… pepper sprayed and pushed to the ground?'
Newsome, wearing a black ‘I Can't Breathe' T-shirt with beads and an Ethiopian religious cross pendant around his neck, said his group has military advisors on board to get the job done.
‘We have black Special Forces officers advising us, and we will teach and train people in our communities, the Black Ops department of Black Opportunities,' he said.
‘What we'll see is people put in place to defend our communities from police who will murder us and get away with it.'
In a move reminiscent of the strategy adopted by the controversial Black Panther Party in the 1960s, Newsome said BLM will create ‘Peace Officers' who will patrol black communities to challenge law enforcement and stop police brutality.
Asked if the ‘Peace Officers' would be armed and open carry their guns in the states that allow it, he said: ‘Yes, absolutely.'