Supporters of law enforcement and first responders rally confront counter protesters Friday at the Snohomish County Plaza in Everett on July 17, 2020. (Kevin Clark / The Herald)

Supporters of law enforcement and first responders rally confront counter protesters Friday at the Snohomish County Plaza in Everett on July 17, 2020. (Kevin Clark / The Herald)

Backing the blue: A call to speak out draws more than 200

A rally in support of police touches on many other topics; counter demonstrators kept at a distance.

EVERETT — Chants of “Defend the Police” rang out through the Snohomish County Plaza and a combination of American flags and Thin Blue Line flags rippled above the heads of the few hundred people who attended Friday evening’s Back the Blue rally in Everett.

The message was clear; support the police.

“This is a protest against demonizing the law enforcement, demanding to defund the police, the recall of our sheriff and targeting and injuring and murdering of our police officers,” the events organizer Anita Azariah said during her opening remarks.

The event began with a moment of silence for Bothell police office Jonathan Shoop who was shot and died in the line of duty earlier this week.

Organized by the Snohomish County Republican Party, the event, arranged on Facebook, included an array of speakers from candidates vying for state offices, a local Young Republican and Snohomish County Sheriff Adam Fortney.

“So this is what the silent majority looks like, I love it and I am tired of being silent,” Fortney said after entering to a standing ovation.

Topics of discussion during the hour-and-a-half long rally stretched well beyond supporting the police.

Speakers condemned sex education in school and reports that some students no longer being taught the Pledge of Allegiance. The ongoing coronavirus was labelled as a fake pandemic by more than one speaker, to the delight of an audience primarily without masks and Gov. Jay Inslee was mentioned more than once as a tyrant.

Across the street, approximately two-dozen counter protesters waved Black Lives Matter flags and held signs supporting the Defund the Police movement.

Both sides jeered at each other often, but undercover police officers were quick to defuse the few brief moments of tension.

During his 20-minute speech, Fortney said he is listening to those communities who have lost trust in the police, but said he won’t make any rash decisions that would harm law enforcement.

“We cannot give in to this defund the police crap,” he said.

Ian Davis-Leonard: 425-339-3448; idavisleonard@heraldnet.com; Twitter: @IanDavisLeonard.

Ian Davis-Leonard reports on working class issues through Report for America, a national service program that places emerging journalists into local newsrooms to report on under-covered issues. To support Ian’s work at The Daily Herald with a tax-deductible donation, go to https://www.heraldnet.com/support/.

Talk to us

More in Local News

The Monroe Correctional Complex on Thursday, April 9, 2020. Inmates held a demonstration on Wednesday night after six inmates tested positive for COVID-19. (Kevin Clark / The Herald)
Another outbreak sends 60 to isolation at Monroe prison unit

One worker and one prisoner tested positive Monday. Then more cases were found throughout the Twin Rivers Unit.

A fatal crash prompted closure of West Mukilteo Boulevard between Forest Park and Dogwood Drive Friday afternoon. (Everett Police Department) 20211126
2 dead, 1 injured in T-bone crash in Everett

The two people who died are believed to be in their 80s. Police don’t suspect alcohol, drugs or speed played a role.

Resident escapes burning trailer near Gold Bar

Nobody was injured in the fire Saturday, but the home was destroyed.

1 dead, 3 injured in 5-car crash east of Stanwood

Katrina Kakalecik, 27, of Granite Falls, was a passenger in an SUV that was rear-ended on Thanksgiving.

A woman walks a dog in downtown Snohomish on Oct. 22. (Sue Misao / The Herald)
Snohomish adopts sales tax for mental health, affordable housing

The city’s new 0.1% tax is also under consideration elsewhere in Snohomish County.

Kyle Wheeler listens as he is convicted of second-degree manslaughter in Snpohomish County Superior Court on Thursday August 12, 2021 in Everett, Wash. ( Ellen Dennis /The Herald)
When killer skipped prison date, family’s mourning turned to fear

A judge sentenced Kyle Wheeler for killing an Everett man, Charles Hatem, then freed him on a promise to report to prison.

Michael Ciaravino
Ex-Mill Creek manager gets $92K severance after rocky tenure

Deputy City Manager Martin Yamamoto has temporarily taken over after Michael Ciaravino’s resignation.

Shawneri Guzman, center, who was named Washington's Fire Educator of the Year and her team of Community Resource firefighter paramedics Janette Anderson, left, and Captain Nicole Picknell, right, at the Lynnwood Fire Station on Wednesday, Nov. 17, 2021 in Lynnwood, Wa. (Olivia Vanni / The Herald)
A pandemic playbook, used nationally, was made in Snohomish County

South County Fire helped transport “patient zero.” Their COVID manual has helped departments far and wide.

Charges: Everett ID thief tried to buy wheels, speakers, more

The man, 33, was charged this week with 10 counts of identity theft in Snohomish County Superior Court.

Most Read