CLEVELAND- What started as an effort to support Cleveland police officers has grown into a national movement.
Brooklyn dispatcher Mary Jo Graves said she originally organized the 'Sea of Blue' rally because she was tired of anti-police rhetoric and protests, and she wanted a way to honor her friends and co-workers.
But the event turned into something much bigger, with over 5,000 people attending the rally in downtown Cleveland on December 27.
“It was awesome; it was an awesome feeling,” said Graves.
Almost immediately following the rally, people in other cities began calling her asking for help planning similar events in their cities.
Orders have come in from at least 26 states from the 'Blue Lives Matter' shirts worn at the Cleveland march.
“That just shows this movement is nationwide which is what we hoped is for the movement to keep going,” she said.
Mary Jo was even contacted by a man in Ferguson, Missouri, who was upset over the riots which followed the shooting death of Michael Brown.
That man is planning a rally in Ferguson for this spring.
People in Washington D.C. are flying Graves into town for a rally this Saturday and about 30 other Clevelanders are also making the trip.
Mary Jo hopes people understand that the rallies aren’t just about honoring and supporting all of the good officers on the job but also about understanding that the community must work with law enforcement not against them because not only do “blue lives matter," she said, all lives matter. “We’re trying to unite everybody!”