A rally to show support for law enforcement drew hundreds to the downtown Springfield square Sunday afternoon.
The rally featured attendees waving American flags and “Thin Blue Line” flags, speeches from local elected officials, veterans, and law enforcement members, and a march that went to the Springfield Police Department headquarters.
“One thing has stood as a constant in these trying times – That is the American men and women who have been called to serve,” State Representative Sonya Murray Anderson said in a statement about the rally. “In the midst of everything happening right now, the men and women of our law enforcement agencies have been there… ready to serve… ready to protect.”
Local organizers of the rally, who partnered with national group Veterans in Defense of Liberty, released balloons in memory of the law enforcement officers who have died in the line of duty. They also gave plaques to police and sheriff’s office deputies after the march to SPD headquarters.
Counter-protesters came out to the event, leading chants against the Back the Blue protesters. One of the leaders of the counter-protest, Jamille Jones of United Community for Change, was able to address the crowd.
Jones said in her talk that while she respects “good” police officers, it’s not fair to compare police lives and black lives because police can take off their uniform at the end of the day, but she cannot take off her black skin.