“I wanted to show positive support for our police and all officers in our community,” said rally organizer Rebecca Cleveland-Diel. “I wanted to celebrate that they put their lives on the line for us every day.”
The demonstration began at 1 p.m. in front of the Seattle Police Department headquarters. The group lined up on the sidewalk waving hand-made signs with phrases such as “Thank You Officers,” “Police Lives Matter” and “Honk for Officers.”
John Barrett, an electrical engineer, lost a friend five years ago who was a police officer killed in the line of duty, he said. While Barrett is supportive of the people on the other side of the cause, protesting the deaths of black men at the hands of white officers, he said there has been a lot of negativity and “the other side has plenty of representation.”
“I think (the officers) need to hear they are supported and loved,” he said.
Saturday’s pro-police rally comes after more than a month of anti-police-brutality protest in Seattle and around the county since a grand jury decided not to indict the police officer in the high-profile fatal shooting of Michael Brown in Ferguson, Mo. The anti-police-brutality protests grew this month after a New York grand jury decided not to indict an officer in the chokehold death of Eric Garner.
Last week, two New York Police Department officers were killed in their cruiser by a 28-year-old man who vowed online to shoot two officers in retaliation for the death of Garner. A funeral was held Saturday for one of the officers, Rafael Ramos. Funeral plans for Officer Wenjian Liu have not been announced.
Diane Langdon, who is married to a King County Sheriff’s Office deputy, said all the negativity against officers is becoming too much for her, which is why she took it too the streets, wearing a “Police Lives Matter” T-shirt and carrying a sign that read, “I (heart) & Support.”
After Saturday’s demonstration in front of police headquarters, Langdon and a small group walked to Westlake Center, where there is a larger police presence.
“They are the ones I want to see this,” she said.