WASHINGTON, D.C. — Hundreds of people gathered Saturday to show their support for law enforcement following nationwide protests of controversial police incidents in Ferguson, Missouri; New York City and other areas.
The group endured cold temperatures at the National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial in downtown Washington, D.C. and marched more than a half dozen blocks toward a “Sea of Blue” rally at the U.S. Capitol.
Organizers put together the event to try to counter some of the anti-law enforcement sentiment expressed in the nationwide protests.
Terrance Gainer, former sergeant at arms for the U.S. Senate, told the crowd that “of 40 million encounters police will have with the public, 98.5 percent” of them are “good and great,” and said cops should empathize with minority groups, who sometimes complain about their treatment at the hands of police.
“We all have something in common,” Gainer said. “We can’t forget who we are, and lose that in the job we have to do, which sometimes is very, very troubling,” Gainer said.
Many speakers remembered loved ones killed in the line of duty.
Event co-organizer Kelly Wince, whose husband is a police officer, told CNN that all professions include some bad actors, but most police are “good officers” who put themselves in danger protecting the public.
“My husband leaves every night and I never say goodbye, I say ‘stay safe’ and ‘I love you,’ because I don’t know if he’s coming home tomorrow.” Wince said.
Standing behind law enforcement officers is “long overdue, ” Wince said. “Our officers need to know that our nation supports them.”