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Changing community perception following viral water fight video

LUBBOCK, Texas - A Lubbock water fight video has now reached 5.9 million views on Facebook alone since it was filmed in an East Lubbock neighborhood Saturday.

The Lubbock Police Department started an investigation to determine if criminal charges should be filed against participants of a water fight who sprayed police officers with water that damaged equipment. As this case continues to evolve, different community members wanted to change the conversation about law enforcement and the East Lubbock community moving forward. 

Related Link: Viral video of LPD officer explained in police report

A heated debate weighs in the shadows of the viral video on social media. Some have argued this was harmless fun, while others said it is lawless disrespect against law enforcement. 

"West Texas has really strong policing and we want to keep that community standard, and I don't want to get to the point to where we tolerate this kind of nonsense," Texas Municipal Police Association Regional Attorney Tray Payne said. 

Payne released a statement Tuesday which expressed his support for the professionalism shown by Lubbock Police officers during this incident. He said these actions disrespect those who protect and service our community. 

He added that there are several criminal offenses that could be considered from this case, including criminal trespassing, rioting, criminal mischief, and assault. 

"There's a lot of things that could happen," Payne said. "Shooting a water gun at an officer when they've got thousands of dollars worth of equipment or throwing water on them is in it of itself could be considered assault or could be considered criminal mischief."

He added that he believes the overall Lubbock community respects law enforcement, and this incident cannot change the standard by which residents treat law enforcement. 

"I think we have really good relationships in this town across the board with all ethnicities and all races, and I don't want to see that damaged because of a few people who are acting inappropriately and completely disrespecting law enforcement," Payne said.

East Lubbock community leaders said the purpose of the water fight was to bring people together in a community event. They want to continue hosting positive events that will bridge all backgrounds together. 

"To reverse the stereotype of the bad light that's been shown on East Lubbock and turn it into a positive thing and that's all that we're trying to do," Adrian Lewis with East Side Unity Organization said. 

They are hosting a Fit Fine Walk on Friday, June 8 at Mae Simmons Park, where everyone throughout the city is invited to come out and support. 


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