Dueling hashtags of dissent as protesters march in New York following NYPD shooting



Local residents visit a memorial on December 21, 2014 near the site where two NYPD officers were shot on Saturday.
Tensions between some police supporters and anti-police brutality protesters have reached new heights following the shooting deaths of two NYPD officers, Rafael Ramos and Wenjian Liu, on Saturday.
The situation has led to increased debate on social media around the issue of U.S. police and their interactions with the community, a discussion that grew into dueling hashtags on Twitter on Sunday, as some mourned and others marched in New York City.
Many of those focused on offering condolences to the families of the fallen officers, as well as those arguing against the ongoing marches, have adopted the #BlueLivesMatter hashtag on Twitter, a phrase that appears to repurpose the #BlackLivesMatter hashtag construction that gained popularity in recent weeks.
Others, who support the ongoing protest marches, began using the hashtag #SilentNight, as protest marches continued on Sunday night.
Despite calls from some, like Brooklyn borough president Eric L. Adams (see video below), that protesters momentarily pause marching in the immediate aftermath of the murder of the two police officers, marchers in New York took to the streets on Sunday.

"This is a painful day for all of us," said Adams. I'm asking all those to hold off on any form of protest until these officers are laid to rest in a peaceful manner."
Nevertheless, as of this writing, large groups of protesters have been seen marching in the streets of Harlem, a historically black neighborhood in Manhattan.
At the same time, candlelight vigils were held in Brooklyn, near the site where the officers were killed on Saturday and near the childhood home of officer Ramos.
Similar candlelight vigils for the fallen officers were also held around the city.
Protest marchers in New York also engaged in a candlelight vigil, but many involved in the march referred to it as a candlelight vigil "for justice."
But while some onlookers in New York may have been confused as to the intent of the simultaneous candlelight vigils, the sentiments expressed online were far more clear.
Using the #BlueLivesMatter hashtag, a large number of commenters on Twitter continue to offer support for the police as well as voice their disagreement with the ongoing marches.
Nationally, as the news of the shooting death of NYPD officers broke on Saturday, a large anti-police brutality protest march occurred in Bloomington, Minnesota. It remains to be seen, in the wake of the NYPD shootings, if the rest of the national marches will continue as they have in previous weeks.
The passionate discourse on social media from both sides of the issue indicates that as 2014 winds down, those tensions, both social and political, are unlikely to subside anytime soon.




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