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A Sea of Blue rally at the State Capitol

Posted at 7:27 PM, Mar 07, 2015
and last updated 2015-03-07 23:35:01-05

RICHMOND, Va. -- Family and friends of law enforcement showed their support and appreciation on Saturday at the Sea of Blue Rally.

They were wearing blue and holding signs while marching and chanting this message, “Blue lives matter!”

"It's hard to see police officers and troopers that I've worked with for years have to defend their job, their badge. It's just not fair,” said Romaine Cheney, whose sister was killed in the line of duty.

Romaine Cheney pauses to remember her 23-year-old sister, Trooper Jessica Jean Cheney.

"She was in Stafford county directing traffic at the scene of an accident when a motorist didn't see all of the lights on. There were several marked cars out there...didn't see the blue lights on, and hit her,” said Cheney.

She says her sister was thrown 150 feet into the air. That happened on January 17th, 1998. But for Cheney, the pain is still raw.

"It's very surreal. It's still very weird to see her name on a wall,” said Cheney. "She dedicated her life to the citizens of this community.”

Saturday's event is a far cry from the recent protests across the country over the deaths of unarmed black men killed at the hands of police officers.

"We are fortunate here in Richmond that we have such a great relationship here in our community,” said John Buturla, Deputy Chief, Richmond Police. “We are so open. We are so transparent in what we do and because of that we have a greater success in policing than other places around the country.”

"At the end of the day, they take off the uniform and badge and they're average citizens,” said Charles Willis, Citizens Against Crime. “They want to go home to their family.”

And that's the goal of every police officer. But when they don't, Romaine Cheney says all you can cherish is the memories.

"There's risk to everybody. But there's bigger targets on the backs of those troopers and deputies and police officers,” said Cheney.