Two separate rallies in Brooklyn and Queens on Saturday brought several hundred pro-police demonstrators out to show their support for the NYPD and counter the anti-cop vitriol that’s emerged in recent weeks.
The Brooklyn march took place in Dyker Heights and Bay Ridge, while the Queens march occurred in the Rockaways. The only local lawmaker to attend one of the marches was Assemblywoman Nicole Malliotakis, the Republican challenger to Democratic Congressman Max Rose for his Brooklyn/Staten Island seat.
The demonstrations in Brooklyn and Queens follows weeks of Black Lives Matter protests, with some marchers supporting defunding the NYPD and a few even calling for the abolition of the NYPD altogether.
The July 11 rally in Brooklyn came together at 13th Avenue and 77th Street and went up to 86th Street. Several hundred residents carried signs in support of police officers in the predominantly upper middle income neighborhood. The demonstrators apparently came together loosely, no one group taking credit for bringing the people there together.
“The NYPD and America needs our support now more than ever. We must support them,” said Patrick Park, a resident Dyker Heights.
Also on hand was former state Senator Marty Golden, who lost the last election to Democratic state Senator Andrew Gounardes. Golden is said to be seeking to unseat Gounardes in the next election. Some of those who helped marshal support for the rally came from the local Republican clubs.
One off-duty police officer at the protest said he appreciated the support and wanted people to understand, “This is not about being anti-Black Lives Matter.”
“We believe this is all lives matter and we need to respect each other,” said the officer, who didn’t want to give his name. “We all feel the George Floyd death was very wrong, but that doesn’t mean that every police officer is a killer — most of us really just want to do right. That’s so wrong [that they] lump us all in that way.”
Meeting the group of protesters were Black Lives Matter protesters, who charged that the demonstration was “out of touch with reality.”
One demonstrator in Rockaway, identified only as Colleen, said, “I’m out here supporting the NYPD because they are calling to defend the police. What are we going to do if we don’t have a police department?”
This story first appeared on amny.com.