Thousands showed up for a impressive “back the blue” rally at Eisenhower park in Long Island, NY.
Rep. Lee Zeldin was a guest speaker.
LongIslandPress reports a sea of more than 1,000 people holding “thin blue line” and American flags packed Eisenhower Park for a Back the Blue Demonstration that was met by a small counter-protest on Saturday.
The rally, which was sponsored by the nonprofit organization Law Enforcement Officers Weekend, drew visitors from police departments across Long Island and New York City, along with community members and supporters from local pro-police organizations. Speakers who railed against claims that police are a problem included Nassau County Police Benevolent Association President James McDermott, the police union leader who represents the county’s rank-and-file officers and argued the county is immune to issues of discrimination in law enforcement — a notion local protesters and activists in recent weeks have rallied against.
“We don’t have these problems here in Nassau County,” McDermott said. “We have tremendous relationships in all communities, including the minority communities, and they trust us and we worked on that. We fostered these relationships.”
The rally was the latest in a series of recent demonstrations in Wantagh, Port Jefferson, and elsewhere in defiance of nationwide protests — including more than 100 on LI — against police brutality over the past two months since Minneapolis police officers allegedly murdered George Floyd in May. The pro-police demonstrators instead denounce efforts to defund the police by reallocating part of some law enforcement agencies’ budgets to fund social services programs.
McDermott said county leadership, including Nassau County Executive Laura Curran and Police Commissioner Patrick Ryder, have “abandoned” the community by failing to stand up for police “day in, day out.”