Los Angeles police officers joined members of the community at a rally in Hollywood on Saturday. They were waving American flags and holding signs that read “Blue Lives Matter.”
The rally was held to show support for the department at a time when ambush killings of police officers in cities nationwide have left law enforcement officers across the nation feeling under siege.
The Los Angeles Times reports that the rally began in front of the CNN building on Sunset Boulevard and moved on to the Hollywood Community Police Station.
Motorists that passed by the demonstrators, including patrol officers and firefighters, showed their appreciation by honking their horns and sounding their sirens.
Annie Bergin, 34, of Los Angeles, was one of the demonstrators at the rally. She held up a sign that read, “They bleed blue.”
“There’s something weird and scary going on right now, police are being assassinated,” she said. “I’m here to show that I strongly support the LAPD and law enforcement officers everywhere who risk their lives each day to keep us safe.”
The rally was organized by the Los Angeles Police Protective League to counter nationwide demonstrations that started after high-profile police killings of unarmed civilians. It was also organized to decry the fatal shooting of an officer in Houston, Texas last month and the killing of two New York police officers in December 2014.
“This is just the beginning of a nationwide campaign,” said Jerretta Sandoz, vice president of the Police Protection League. “We’ve reached out to police unions in New York, Chicago, Atlanta, Houston and many other cities, and they are all on board.”
John Redican, a Los Angeles Police Department patrol officer, agreed with what Sandoz said.
“Police are being marginalized and demonized by a small segment of society with views that are magnified by the media,” Redican said. “This event is an attempt to mitigate that perception by showing that a majority of people understand that we are out there trying to keep the wolves away from our doors.”