Hundreds of pro-police supporters march to support NYPD
“I can’t think of a more difficult job because they’re not just police officers...they respond to everything.”
By Sydney Kashiwagi
Staten Island Advance
NEW YORK, N.Y. — A crowd of hundreds of mostly white pro-police supporters led by Staten Island’s Republican party members marched from Miller Field to the 122 Precinct Saturday to show their support for the NYPD on the heels of nationwide anti-racism and police accountability protests.
“They refer to them as the police and then they have other derogatory terms, these are men and women, these are husbands, wives, fathers, sons, these are brothers, sisters, cousins, aunts, uncles, who do this job to be a public servant,” said “Carmen,” who leads the pro-cop group, Blue Ribbons, and helped organize Saturday’s march.
“I can’t think of a more difficult job because they’re not just police officers, they have to act like parents towards people, social workers; they respond to everything,” Carmen continued.
Carmen and the event’s co-organizer, Lorraine, of Hold the Line, both declined to provide their last names to Advance/SILive.com because they said they didn’t want to put the lives of the cops in their families at risk.
“We wish we could, I’m very proud that I have a police officer in my family. Very proud, but if I say it, I put them and myself in danger,” Lorraine said.
Back the Blue: Islanders peacefully marched from Miller Field to the 122nd Precinct stationhouse in New Dorp to show support for police with dozens of handmade signs, flags and pro-NYPD chants. [📸: @shanedimaio] #nypd #march #statenisland #NewYork pic.twitter.com/Ho7z4lpKFF— SIAdvance (@siadvance) July 11, 2020
Saturday’s pro-police march followed weeks of protests across the country demanding justice for Black lives. Those protests were sparked by the death of George Floyd, a Black Minneapolis man who died after Derek Chauvin, a white cop, kneeled on his neck for nearly nine minutes.
Calls to “defund the police” became a rallying cry during the demonstrations, which followed weeks of protests in New York City, including on Staten Island. The New York City Council voted to cut the NYPD’s budget by more than $1 billion.
But pro-cop marchers said cops shouldn’t have to pay for the actions of “a few bad apples.”
“I worked during 9/11, I did 25 years on the police department. I gave a lot of my time and my soul to the job; I loved being a cop. I loved helping all the communities, and to put a blank brush across and say all cops are racists is disgusting,” said Lorie of Eltingville, a former detective in Manhattan who retired from the force last year.
Lorie also declined to provide her last name to Advance/SILive.com because she said she wanted to protect the cops in her family still on the job.
She said cops she spoke to about Floyd’s death were just as “appalled” as she was by what Chauvin had done to Floyd and did not condone his behavior.
“Cops don’t want bad cops working with them,” Lorie said.
The event was attended by the Island’s Republican Party Chairman Brendan Lantry, the party’s top ticket candidate Assemblywoman Nicole Malliotakis, who is running for Congress against Democratic Rep. Max Rose, and three other Republicans running in the Island’s state assembly races.
None of Staten Island’s Democratic lawmakers attended the march.
Malliotakis called out Rose for not attending Saturday’s march and slammed him for supporting George Floyd protesters instead when he marched alongside them in June.
“Max Rose should be here; it’s a disgrace,” Malliotakis said. “He was around when they were holding up signs and chanting “defund the police,” but he doesn’t show his face here today,” she continued.
“I think it’s important for our police department to know that there are elected officials in this city who support them, who appreciate them, and who have their back,” Malliotakis continued. “We can’t continue as the city and state to tie their hands and then take away their tools. We are less safe, everyone is less safe, and there’s been a lot of anti-police rhetoric.”
Malliotakis urged the Island’s “silent majority” to vote for candidates who support cops come November.
Rose’s office praised Saturday’s crowd for marching peacefully and said he could not be bothered by Malliotakis’ “nonsense.”
“Nicole praised the Black Lives Matter protests, calling them ‘an example for the nation’, but now she’s pretending that never happened,” Rose said. “Unlike her, I understand the life and death decisions that our cops make everyday—and I have great respect and the deepest of gratitude for their service and sacrifice. So I’m not going to bother with nonsense from a fraud politician like her on how to support our courageous men and women in blue because she wouldn’t know what courage was if her life depended on it.”
In recent weeks, Mayor Bill de Blasio and NYPD top brass have called for an “all hands on deck” approach to address a rise in shootings across the city.
But the mayor and NYPD brass have clashed on what they see as the driving force behind those shootings.
De Blasio has said shootings are being driven by the coronavirus pandemic and court system not fully functioning while NYPD officials have said the uptick stems from bail reform, the release of inmates from prison during the coronavirus pandemic, animosity toward police following the protests and cops fearful of repercussions from the City Council’s chokehold bill.