CLEVELAND- Protests in the streets of Cleveland and across the country over a series of highly-publicized police shootings have given critics of law enforcement a platform to air their grievances. But supporters of police have generally remained silent, until now.
Brooklyn police dispatcher Mary Jo Graves has organized a "Sea of Blue" rally on Saturday at noon on Cleveland’s Public Square.
Graves, who was a friend of slain Cleveland Police Officers A.J. Schroeder, Wayne Leon and Robert Clark, wants to send a message to local police officers.
“They don't go out every day saying, 'I'm going to take a life today.’ They go out saying, 'I want to come home.’ They want to come home to their families,” Graves said.
Graves said the rally, which will include a silent march to Cleveland’s Peace Officers Memorial to honor the two New York City police officers assassinated last Saturday, is to show support for officers who feel they are under siege.
“It's gotten to the point where officers are afraid to stand up for themselves. They're afraid to take that shot if they're feeling threatened. If someone is going to pull out a gun on you, you have one second to decide what you're going to do," she said.
Those attending the rally are encouraged to wear blue, and according to Graves, more than 4,000 people have indicated through social media that they plan to attend. She is recommending that supporters begin gathering on Public Square at 11 a.m. Saturday, in advance of the noon rally.