Hundreds gather to support police during 'Back the Blue' rally in NY
About 500 people gathered along Route 347 on Long Island to show their support for law enforcement
By Suzie Ziegler
SUFFOLK COUNTY, N.Y. — A "Back the Blue" rally on Long Island garnered a crowd Monday as hundreds turned out to show their support for law enforcement, reported the New York Post. It comes amid weeks of anti-cop sentiments across the country since the death of George Floyd, said the Post.
About 500 people lined Route 347 in Port Jefferson waving both American flags and thin blue line flags.
Event organizer Jonathan Stuart praised police for "displaying everyday acts of heroism" while facing backlash, the Post reported.
“We know your job is tough,” Stuart told the crowd. “We know you have all Americans’ backs, and we have yours. … Standing up here is hard, being here is hard, but we are doing what must be done.”
Other speakers at the rally condemned what they described as "anti-law enforcement sentiment" since Floyd's death.
“The stuff we’ve been hearing about in the news has been absolutely crazy,” former Suffolk County GOP chairman John Jay LaValle told the Post. “We stand behind law enforcement to protect our families.”
Some people were surprised by the turnout. Suffolk County Police Benevolent Association President Noel DiGerolam said he wasn't sure many people would show up.
“Thank you for proving me wrong," he said at the rally. "I’m so glad to be here in Suffolk County, where the majority of people love their law enforcement."