Several hundred people gathered to show support for law enforcement officers in Selah, Washington, on Saturday afternoon.
“We’ve got to support the PD. It might be a cliche, but cops run towards danger. You and I would run away from it. That’s what makes them so exceptional,” resident Paul Bland told the Yakima Herald-Republic.
Many participants waved American flags, Thin Blue Line flags, and Trump 2020 flags while others held signs with phrases such as “Back the Blue” and “All Lives Matter” written on them.
Aerial video footage taken by YouTube user Mercerology showed rally attendees lining the street.
“Supporting Law enforcement,” the video’s text read, adding, “Our community stands with you.”
The rally was the first organized pro-police demonstration in Yakima County following calls to defund the police, the Herald-Republic article stated.
Bland said his heart went out to people who lost loved ones in police-involved shootings, but he also had empathy for the officers who had to live with that harsh reality.
“Anybody that is shot is just awful. But (police) have to react in split seconds, so things may not come out the way we all want them to. I don’t know how to remedy that. I don’t see how there can be any training for something like that,” he commented.
Resident Chelsea Paganelli told reporters she joined the rally to help boost law enforcement officers’ morale, adding that her husband, Justin Paganelli, and father, Larry Gamache, spent their careers serving as deputy sheriffs.
“Paganelli said she hopes people like them know local community members ‘have their six’ — a term referring to someone’s six o’clock position, or their back,” the newspaper stated.
In addition, West Valley resident Amy Ruiz attended the event with her husband and two children.
“Our country needs to be in support of the people out there keeping our streets safe and protecting us,” she said.