A rally in support of law enforcement and the “All Lives Matter” movement took place at O’Brien Park in Parker June 20. The “Back the Blue” rally drew hundreds protesting the defunding of …
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A rally in support of law enforcement and the “All Lives Matter” movement took place at O’Brien Park in Parker June 20. The “Back the Blue” rally drew hundreds protesting the defunding of American police departments.
County Commissioner Lora Thomas and Mayor Mike Waid were among the guest speakers who took the stage at the O’Brien Park gazebo.
Waid showed his support on behalf of the Town of Parker and council. Waid reminded his listeners of the good police do in Parker, citing a recent incident when a Parker Police officer saved the life of a choking 1-year-old.
Waid appeared at the town’s first protest in support of Black Lives Matter as well.
Randy Corporon, an Aurora attorney and radio host, followed, saying “it’s going to be a lovely, nasty, brutal summer in Democrat-controlled cities around this country.” Corporon is representing a case against the state of Colorado in its decision to close specific businesses amid COVID-19.
“We all understand the Black lives matter. All lives matter,” Corporon said. “But we also have to be willing to call out the Marxist, anarchist, Soros-funded, domestic terrorist group known as Black Lives Matter who will tear down our history, our civil society and could care less about the men and women and put their lives on the line every single time.”
Corporon refuted “the brainwashing that’s going in our schools, in the colleges and everywhere else,” and recommended people put themselves in the shoes of their local officer by inquiring about a ride-along.
Mike Houlihan, a 20-year Parker resident formerly in law enforcement who showed his support at the rally, said people need to be more understanding the police’s role in society.
“They are like the sheep dogs over the sheep. The sheep don’t like them because they have sharp, pointy teeth, but without them, the sheep are lost,” Houlihan said. “Within every occupation, there are always a few bad apples. Teachers, scout master leaders, pastors—all. You cannot hold an entire group or population of a specific occupation responsible for the mistakes of a few. People need to be a little bit more forgiving and appreciative of what these people do every single day for them.”
Cities throughout the nation have already taken steps to reduce the size of or rebuild their police departments. The Minneapolis police killing of George Floyd set off a month of protests directed at police brutality toward Black Americans.
Gov. Jared Polis signed a bill June 19 requiring all law enforcement in the state to wear body cameras and prohibiting the use of chokeholds as a use of force.
Many protesters at the June 20 event held signs in support of the All Lives Matter movement and a few waved Trump flags.
One woman’s sign read “Defend the Police, Defund the Criminals.”
“I think it’s important to defend our police while the rest of the country wants to defund them, and I think we’re focusing now on people who don’t really need the money,” the woman said. “Criminals right now are getting a lot of attention, and they don’t deserve to have that extra money and extra attention.”
A group of about two dozen people in support of the Black Lives Matter movement arrived at O’Brien Park shortly after the rally began. The counter-protesters remained at the fringe of the crowd, never unaccompanied by a handful of people holding signs in support of police and All Lives Matter in front of their own signs. Both sides remained peaceful through the organized part of the rally.
Corporon gestured to the group of Black Lives Matter protesters and called them “radical domestic terrorists” in his closing remarks.
“Spread the word. Wear your Trump hats. Be unafraid,” Corporon said.
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