Gabrielle Pettway, daughter of Jefferson County Sheriff Mark Pettway, said in a recent TikTok video that she doesn’t want to hear anyone using the “Blue Lives Matter” motto supporting law enforcement officers, AL.com reports.
“My dad is the sheriff in the largest county in the state of Alabama,” Pettway said on the video, which has since been deleted. “It’s scary at times, we’ve gotten death threats before, but I’m still not going to sit up and say Blue Lives Matter because it’s undermining the racism and corruption built into the whole blue system.”
Pettway, who reportedly works as a teacher in Birmingham, said she’d rather see people hold their loved ones who work in law enforcement “accountable” instead of blindly supporting them.
“What kind of conversations are y’all having with your brothers, dads, moms, whoever’s in law enforcement to hold them accountable and making sure they’re part of the solution and not the problem?” Pettway said. “It could be as simple as asking them, ‘What are you doing to protect black and brown people?’”
Sheriff Pettway, a law enforcement vet of more than 27 years, was elected as the Jefferson County’s first black sheriff in 2018, according to a department website.
A message seeking comment from his office about his daughter’s TikTok video was not immediately returned early Tuesday.
Gabrielle Pettway also acknowledged in the video that law enforcement officers risk their lives daily, but noted that “they chose that” profession fully knowing of the dangers they would face while on the job.
“Black people are risking their lives just by being black,” she said in the video. “Given the choice, I would choose that again but I wouldn’t choose oppression, too. Why does that have to come with being black?”
The sheriff’s daughter ended her post by saying she needed to “go back” to cleaning her room, AL.com reports.
“But if you feel that there’s nothing wrong with saying Blue Lives Matter, you’re privileged,” Gabrielle Pettway said. “It’s inconsiderate, it’s insensitive, it’s distasteful and it’s racist.”
A former investigator with the sheriff’s office, meanwhile, said he thought Pettway’s comments were unfortunate.
“To me, it’s just really disappointing that a daughter would say that when her dad has walked the streets, and faced the danger, and depended on his big brothers to support him and back him up,” David McAnally of the Jefferson County Fraternal Order of Police told WVTM.