Nearly 300 people gathered to show support for law enforcement officers and their families in downtown Salt Lake City, Utah, Saturday.
“We came out to the support police because we think what’s going on right now and that they’re getting a raw shake,” said attendee Amy Rhodes, according to Deseret News.
“We feel they just need all the support they can get,” she continued.
Former Salt Lake City police officer Eric Moutsos organized the “Blue Rally” event that lasted about 90 minutes and said he believed most Americans still supported the police even after the death of George Floyd.
“But they’re just afraid, and we don’t have to divide on this issue. We know that there are certain injustices that happen, and that’s why there’s a process to go through it,” he told the crowd, adding, “We don’t burn down our cities. We don’t defund the police.”
At the rally, about two dozen protesters gathered nearby and held signs that read “Black Lives Matter” and “Fire killer cops,” according to the Deseret report.
However, Moutsos asked the crowd to applaud them because they were “keeping it peaceful,” adding that everyone needed to come to the table and have a conversation about the issue.
Moutsos and others who spoke at the rally said politics had no place in policing and that officers were caught between politicians and citizens.
“I’m telling you the men and women, 99.9% of police officers across the nation, they want to serve and protect all of you, every single person. … There are some outliers,” Moutsos commented.
“Today this is a celebration of the men and women who put their lives on the line every single day,” he added.
Later, rally attendee Connie Cagle asked what would happen if police departments were defunded, leaving citizens no one to call when they needed help.
“If we get rid of the police or they decide to lose their jobs or quit their jobs… where are we supposed to go then?” she told ABC 4.