Police Supporters Rally in Downtown Cleveland
Members of the crowd held signs that read "Blue Lives Matter" and "All Lives Matter" as they rallied at Public Square, and then marched to the city's peace officers memorial at West 3rd and Lakeside. The rally comes after a month of criticism --- ranging from a scathing Department of Justice report on the Cleveland Police, to the shooting death of 12-year-old Tamir Rice by a rookie officer. There was some evidence of counter-protests, including a small group who silently held a sign quoting African American writer James Baldwin, that read "Because I love you, it is my job to show you what you cannot see". After the march, chief organizer Mary Jo Graves said she hopes this largely quiet event will set a national precedent.
MARY JO GRAVES: I already got an inquiry from a dispatcher in Tennessee who wants to do the same thing. So, if we can start here in Cleveland and let Cleveland set an example for peace, that will be awesome.
Graves is a dispatcher for the Brooklyn Police Department. The "Sea of Blue" Facebook page had predicted nearly 5000 supporters would show-up. The Northeast Ohio Media Group estimated attendance as closer to 2500.