WASHINGTON, January 18 (Sputnik), Anastasia Sheveleva — Americans have marched out in the streets of Washington, DC to express their appreciation of US police officers amid increasing tensions between law enforcement and the public in the United States, demonstration organizer Kelly Wince has informed Sputnik.
"The only thing that we are trying to voice is get out there, wear your blue, let everyone know blue lives matter, all lives matter, and thank a police officer. And let us get our communities back together again," Wince told Sputnik Saturday.
The rally to support US police officers, also called "Sea of Blue", started at noon (17:00 GMT) at the National Law Enforcement Memorial and then moved to the US Capitol. According to a rough police estimate about 500-600 people joined the demonstration.
Many people were wearing blue and flying blue flags to express their appreciation of US police officers who recently came under fire from anti-police protesters. The demonstrators were carrying "Blue Lives Matter" banners and chanting "Police, Thank you".
"It is a long time coming…but with all the tensions in the media it inflamed it a little bit, the men and women in law enforcement are tired, they need to know people do support them, we thank them, we care about them," Wince explained in the Saturday interview with Sputnik.
Terrance Gainer, a retired chief of police who worked in US law enforcement for about 47 years, came to the pro-police march "to support law enforcement and to reemphasize that every life matters, blue and black".
"We are all in this together, police and the community…99 percent of the work that police offices do, 99 percent of the interaction they have with the public are all positive. If we understand each other better, there is less likely to be discord," Gainer told Sputnik Saturday.
Gainer explained that the sign on the back of many demonstrators saying "United We Stand" refers not just to police officers being united, but to the community and the police being united.
Wince told Sputnik that she was very pleased and happy with the results of the rally and people kept asking her to organize a similar event next year.
"It needs to be [a tradition], we have our National Law Enforcement Memorial police week every year and that is to honor the fall, we need to honor those who are alive," Wince said.
The rally comes four weeks after the murder of two New York police officers on December 20. Wenjian Liu and Rafael Ramos were shot and killed by Ishmaayil Brinsley in alleged revenge for African-Americans being killed by US policemen.
Public outrage against police violence in the United States has recently been ignited by grand jury decisions not to indict the two white police officers who killed African-Americans Eric Garner and Michael Brown in two separate incidents last summer.