Rally Saturday supports police
More than 100 people lined Eastman Parkway near the Gresham Police Station on Saturday afternoon holding signs expressing gratitude to Gresham police officers and waving to passing traffic, generating frequent honks of support from motorists.
Sally Macklin, who has lived in Gresham for 17 years said, "I live close to Springwater (Corridor) and I've had lots of interactions with the police. I am very thankful for them. I think it's shameful to have people attacking them and being disrespectful toward them. I just want to show them some love."
The demonstration was timed to coincide with the police shift change in hopes that more officers would see their many supporters.
Some of the demonstrators wore stars and stripes themed clothing and others donned shirts with Christian messages or logos of local churches.
The rally was a counterpoint to weeks of demonstrations across the country and in the Portland area calling for police reform. They were in part in reaction to the death of George Floyd, an unarmed Black man, who died in police custody in Minneapolis on May 25. Murder charges have been brought against a police officer who knelt on Floyd's neck for around 8 minutes. Some of these demonstrations devolved into destruction of property, looting and violence.
Lisa Jennings said she came to the rally "just to support law enforcement and let them know we really love them."
There was a box where people were dropping cards of support for the police.
Following the demonstration along the busy thoroughfare under the sunny skies Saturday, July 11, the group moved to the plaza in front of City Hall for speeches, prayers and praise music.
Chaplin Maxine Lawrence, who works for the Gresham Salvation Army said to the crowd, "we love our Gresham Police."
Tom Norton, a pastor at First Love Church in Gresham, said "our heart is to promote what we can be united about in these divided times."
Norton asked the crowd, "What if Jesus' love ... actually lived out in our lives?"
Norton urged everyone to "pray for the peace of our nation."
And he said "to those of you in uniform, we thank you, we honor you and we love you."
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