Rally supports law enforcement

By Joseph Slacian

About 250 people gathered at the Wabash County Courthouse on Wednesday, July 8, for a salute to law enforcement rally.

The rally, organized by Barb Pearson and Laura Cole, featured nine speakers including Indiana Attorney General Curtis Hill.

"We appreciate you so much coming out tonight, giving up your time and showing support for local law enforcement," Cole said in opening remarks. "It means so much."

Among the speakers was State Sen. Andy Zay, who called himself"a broken and confused public servant."

"Never in my life, would I have thought that I would have to come to a rally for the men and women of the law enforcement community," he said. "Simply state, I support you, I love you and I respect you."

He then spoke about Indianapolis Police Officer Breann Leath, who was killed in the line of duty on April 9.

She was living a dream of being a police officer, he said, noting that her father was a police officer and it was something she had aspired to do.

"But I know she would trade that dream to have her son's arms wrapped around her tonight when she comes home," he said. "(Leath) has left a void in every public servant's heart.

"How quickly times have changed since April 9. These calls for defunding the police are outrageous. The demonizing of law enforcement is outrageous. But with our outrage, shouldn't we look at ourselves first? What are we doing?"

Parents, he said, need to teach their children to respect their teachers, to respect adults and to respect public servants, "namely our police officers."

"By shirking the responsibilities that we have as citizens, sometimes, it's become the police officers fault," he said. "I stand with our public servants today, and most notably the men and women who wear the badge."

Wabash City Council member Terry Brewer also addressed the audience, reading a social media meme that lets law enforcement officials know that he supports them and will help them in any way necessary, be it providing them with food and drink if they're hungry or thirsty, to standing next to them in a time of emergency.

"Today, in the city of firsts, we're going to send a message about backing the blue," he said. "While the media is quick to promote officers having problems ... we must always remember that there are those who respect what you do and we're always here for you."

Hill, who lost his bid to win the Republican Party's nomination for re-election as attorney general over the weekend during the state convention, was the keynote speaker for the event.

"This nation is under attack," he said. "It's under attack from within. It's under attack from groups who want to divide us, and take us away from being the United States of America and make us the divided states of America."

Free speech also is under attack, he contended.

"If you say what's on your mind any longer, and you're conservative, and you love you country, you get destroyed," Hill said.

"Ladies and gentleman, that's not what it's about in America. You stand for freedom and you take whatever comes."

Groups want to defund the police, he, like other speakers, noted.

"We see these organizations that take over, anarchists," he said. "We have an organization called Black Lives Matter. The phrase black lives matter shouldn't be anything that would scare anybody. Black lives matter, white lives matter, we can all get that. But this is an organization ... they're all about the destruction of the nuclear family. I can't think of anything worse for black lives and black America than the destruction of the nuclear family.

Posted on 2020 Jul 14