A rally called "Back the Blue" was recently held in Northeast Philadelphia in support of Philly cops and the privacy that should be given to police after an officer is involved in a deadly shooting. The rally was organized be the Philadelphia chapter of The Fraternal Order of Police at Lodge Number 5 and the house was packed to capacity.
Throngs of police, their family, and local residents attended to show their support for police and being on the right side of the law. These are people who wish to ensure the safety of the community for all citizens and police officers.
Fraternal Order of Police organizers request that officers involved in shootings not have their information released until after a formal investigation has occurred. This would prevent social justice activists from prematurely causing chaos and violence to people in public.
The system should not be permitted to release the names of police officers involved in shootings unless the officer is convicted of a crime in the wake of a shooting trial.
The rally is a result of a protest that occurred outside the personal home of a police officer where protesters threatened the police officer, his family, and neighbors.
A rally-goer noted that what happened last week when the crowd of protesters descended unto the police officer's house "just isn't right in (her) mind." She also stated that there needs to be special protections for officers and that allowing their personal information to be used in such a way was wrong and that's the primary reason she was there in support of the Fraternal Order of Police's rally and message.
Those attending the Fraternal Order of Police's rally mostly said they were in attendance to show solidarity and to say that all lives matter.
A former detective for the department said that if people try to condemn an entire police department for the actions of one officer, that it just isn't fair. He noted that Philadelphia has one of the best police departments in the country. Imagine one person from a church steals a dollar from a donation basket. Does that mean the entire church is bad or guilty? No, just that one person should be blamed, not the entire church.
John McNesby, president of the Philadelphia FOP said in a tweet that over 2,000 people came to the rally in support of officers.
The incident that sparked the protests at the officer's residence involved a cop who shot David Jones in the back. Jones was illegally riding a dirt-bike in Philadelphia. The cop pulled him over, checked him and felt a firearm. Jones physically reacted quickly and took off running. The cop likely thought he was reaching for the firearm and shot him in the back. What the cop did not know was that Jones had dropped his gun. With this happening in a split second, it's easy to understand how and why the officer reacted this way. If Jones informed the officer that he was armed and allowed the officer to disarm him, or at least put his gun on the ground (with permission), then this would have had an entirely different outcome.
Other information about this case is that Jones is a felon who was also illegally possessing the firearm. No one knows what could've happened if the man who was shot did not drop his firearm. If he was reaching for it and did not drop it, then the cop or an innocent bystander could've been shot. If the man reached for his weapon and realized it dropped, then of course he would be running, which means of course he would be shot in the back if the officer responded correctly to the physical nature of the man's movements.
Even though the man was shot in the back, which is usually questionable, the man did possess a firearm (illegally) and the situation may have been a lot different if the man didn't drop his gun.
This sparked a great outrage amount activists and social justice warriors such as Philadelphia's Black Lives Matter and the Coalition of Justice for David Jones.
McNesby made national headlines last week following the protest at the officer's home when he labeled the protesters, "a pack of rabid animals."
While the FOP leader's choice of words put him in the spotlight, others weighed in with more politically correct accounts of the protest. A councilman called the protest a stain on the city of Philadelphia."
Another City Councilman and a district attorney for the city spoke at the event in addition to a State Representative, Martina White (R) who is proposing a bill to legislature that would delay the release of personal information and names of officers involved in fatal shootings. With this bill comes hope that people will not be up in arms in a knee-jerk reaction that puts innocent people in danger from the result of potentially violent outbursts that could happen during a protest. By withholding the information of a police officer involved in a deadly shooting, it allows the system to handle it and possibly release the information if the officer is convicted of a crime.
The police must be held to high standards and the public needs to be protected from protesters and violence as well.
People need to be given time to cool off after a shooting and take time to fully understand what happened, prosecute if necessary, and handle situations the peaceful way that leads to a better outcome instead of potentially violent discourse among citizens.