Photos: Pro-Police Rally In Hollywood Says 'Blue Lives Matter'
A group of about 100 LAPD officers and pro-police supporters converged in Hollywood on Saturday to broadcast the message that "Blue Lives Matter." The rally began at the Hollywood Community Police Station on Wilcox Avenue before heading up to the CNN building on Sunset Boulevard.
The L.A. Times reports that the event was organized by the Los Angeles Police Protective League, the LAPD's labor union, as a counter to nationwide "Black Lives Matter" demonstrations that have brought attention to the cases of the police killings of unarmed civilians. But those who attended the "Blue Lives Matter" rally believe that police officers are under attack themselves.
One of the demonstrators, Annie Bergin, told the L.A. Times, "There’s something weird and scary going on right now - police are being assassinated...I’m here to show that I strongly support the LAPD and law enforcement officers everywhere who risk their lives each to keep us safe."
But while those at the rally allege that there's been an uptick officer fatalities, they're actually way, way down compared to previous decades. The graph below indicates that 2015 has been the least-deadly year to be a cop since the late 1960s.
Jerretta Sandoz, vice president of the 10,000-member Police Protection League said that Saturday's rally was just the beginning of what she hopes will be nationwide campaign. “We’ve reached out to police unions in New York, Chicago, Atlanta, Houston and many other cities and they are all on board...We’re searching for a unifying catch phrase and symbol that send this message: Enough is enough."
The L.A. Times reports that August was the deadliest month in the city in the last six years (for civilians, not police). In a press conference earlier this week, Mayor Eric Garcetti spoke to his plan that would deploy additional hundreds of LAPD officers to high-crime areas. Those in attendance at the rally say police work is too often unappreciated by the public.
LAPD Anna Strongwolf, who attended the rally, told the L.A. Times, "There’s far too much negative junk directed at officers who keep us safe from anarchy...I get emails alerting us when an officer somewhere in the United States was killed in the line of duty. Not long ago, I got two in one day. This has got to stop."
Those at the rally did not seem to acknowledge the fact that L.A. County police alone have killed 589 people in the line of duty from January 2000 to August 2014 —on average, one person per week.
Here are some tweets taken during the action: