BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (WIAT) — Police officers and their families drive home the message that all lives matter. Sunday afternoon’s gathering supported the lives of police officers and was in response to the popular social media campaign of #BlackLivesMatter.
After several protests in the area that have claimed to stand against police brutality and use of force, Sunday afternoon law enforcement shared its side of the issue. Officers from several departments expressed why they believe police lives matter, too.
More ceremony than rally, hundreds attended the Birmingham ‘Police Lives Matter’ event Sunday afternoon. Several people spoke about the dangers that police officers face on a daily basis.
“When certain groups and individuals go on national television and social media and not only threaten but murder police for the very job that they do, I take that as a personal threat against my police family,” said David Crews, past president of the FOP Lodge 1
“Yes, police lives matter, as well as all lives,” continued Crews.
Some of the officers in attendance were retired. Fellow officers and their families made up the crowd. All were moved to show their support.
Rhonda Ledbetter says despite the recent events in the news involving police officers, she knows that many of them have the best intentions when they put on that badge.
“I see the heart of our police officers and their heart is good,” said Ledbetter.
“They want to help people. They want to keep us safe and they’re willing to lay their life on the line to do that,” continued Ledbetter.
Birmingham Deputy Police Chief Henry Irby spoke about the newest group of police officers entering the force.
“It never amazes me when I see fresh faces, raising their hand and being sworn in to be law enforcement officers, because in spite of the ills that society has upon us they still want to protect and serve citizens,” said Irby.
“That should say something. That should say a lot,” continued Irby.
Heavy praise was given to officers serving now, and respect given to those who gave their lives in the line of duty. Organizers of the rally say they are planning more ‘Police Lives Matter’ events in the future.
Copyright 2015 WIAT 42 News