As the Vallejo, CA police department delegation attended the funerals of the New York Police Department officers Rafael “Ralph” Ramos and Wenjian Liu, roughly 60 demonstrators rallied Saturday in support of their police officers, according to the Vallejo Times-Herald. The police supporters met in front of the Vallejo Police Department, holding signs emblazoned with messages such as “police lives matter.”
The rally was organized by Sam Kurshan, a local resident of the town roughly 30 miles north of San Francisco, who calls himself a “regular joe.” He explained his motivation for calling the rally to CBS San Francisco: “Police protect us selflessly everyday, they have families they may not come home to at night. Without the police there’d be no law and order and structure to our society, people would just run wild. You can’t scapegoat the police like this, it’s wrong.”
The Times-Herald quoted former Vallejo City Unified School District Board trustee Hazel Wilson, who is black and joined supporters of the police, saying, “It shouldn’t be us against them. All lives matter….There are good people on both sides of the issue. Education is very important, what it means to interact with law enforcement….The relationship is developing and they are working together with the community. We’re seeing more of the right police officers.”
Meanwhile, a second group held a counter-demonstration nearby. One member, Cindy Mitchell, snapped, “We’re out here because they want to support the police but they don’t want to impose accountability. There’s no accountability.”
The two groups did not confront each other directly.