Dozens of people descended on Dallas Police Headquarters for a Black Lives Matter march Sunday night after hundreds of people participating in a Back the Blue caravan stopped in the parking lot of a prominent Black church in Oak Cliff earlier in the afternoon.
The pastor of Friendship West Baptist Church, Frederick Douglass Haynes III, is active in the movement for social justice and said he believes participants in the Back the Blue Cruise stopped in the parking lot of his church in an attempt to intimidate the congregation.
The organizer of the rally said the stop at the church was a misunderstanding.
"One of my organizers knew one of the pastors at the church and we had gotten approval, from what I understand, from one of the pastors," said Nathan Abrams, who helped organize the motorcade. "I don't know where the communication breakdown was, but I do want to say to that church from the bottom of my heart, I apologize for any kind of misconceptions or misunderstandings or anything."
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Haynes said, in addition to an apology, he would like the group to take action promoting unity.
“There are seven or maybe eight mega-churches with big parking lots right in our area. They chose ours, that’s all I’ll say," Haynes said. “We’re the only one out of those seven or eight that has a Black Lives Matter sign up. We’re the only one whose pastor is always out when it comes to these kinds of rallies and takes a stand against injustice. So I think the answer is real clear.”
Hundreds of vehicles participated in Back the Blue Cruise, which started Sunday morning at Pennington Field in Bedford. It was organized by the Texas Ram Club-DFW Chapter.
Dallas police said the organizers of the cruise were given permission by the church to use the parking lot as a rest area during the caravan.
In a statement, the church said an organizer asked for permission to use the parking lot for a Black Lives Matter rally, not a Back the Blue event.