Back the Blue rallies being held in different counties around the United States
Small groups of protesters in different counties around the U.S. are showing support for local law enforcement.
The Facts Inside Our Reporter’s Notebook
In the midst of all the Black Lives Matter protests, there are other protests occurring around America in support of law enforcement officers. Small groups of protesters in different counties around the U.S. are holding rallies to show appreciation to local police officers who work in their communities.
Examples of counties participating in these rallies include Las Cruces, New Mexico, Spotsylvania, Virginia, Martin County, Florida, and Grass Valley, California. The rallies in different counties have varied in terms of turnout, with Manassas, Virginia, drawing several hundred; Grass Valley having about a dozen people protesting; and Las Cruces having around several dozen people.
The protesters in Grass Valley, California objected to recent calls to defund the police.
“It started a few weeks ago with the defund the police movement, and we thought it’s time to give the police a little bit of love,” Back the Blue rally organizer Bethany Denkers said.
In Florida, hundreds gathered on June 21 for a Back the Blue rally in Palm City to show support for law enforcement. Lots of American flags and Back the Blue signs were present while motorcycles drove in circles around a bridge.
“I think it was absolutely disgusting and horrifying what happened in Minneapolis to Mr. Floyd,” Tamara Smith, of Stuart, said. “It makes me so mad at that cop because of the repercussions that is happening today with law enforcement.”
A retired police officer, John Risco, commented on the importance of police and communities working together to “improve everything.”
In Spotsylvania, Virginia, a police wife gave her thoughts on why she was a part of the Back the Blue rally and why it was personal to her.
“My husband, along with all of his co-workers, put their lives on the line every single day and are being persecuted for a job they hold, instead of the people they are, which is upstanding,” Katie Rasmussen said in an interview Friday. “We owe it to our men and women in blue to show them they are not alone, not everyone has abandoned them, and we believe in ‘defend not defund.’ Our country needs law and order to function, and we support those who keep it.”
Participants in the Las Cruces protests held signs that stated “Back the blue” and “I proudly support law enforcement.” There were several dozen participants and, according Robert Parra, president of the Las Cruces Police Union, the event was a “peaceful assembly.”
These protests have occurred mostly on weekends and more of them are possibly to occur in later dates.