Hundreds marched in Fredericksburg, Virginia, on Sunday to show their support for the police, amid nationwide calls for defunding and even dismantling law enforcement departments.
Protesters, mostly white people, were chanting «Back the Blue» as they gathered in downtown Fredericksburg, then marched to Fredericksburg Police Department, where Chief Brian Layton acknowledged the support and thanked the participants.
A demonstrator, Susan Weimer, admitted that although she did not know «the specifics» of what defunding the police meant, she does not want it «to happen at all.»
«I think retraining officers is important, but defunding and taking away from them and showing the disrespect that so many have done for officers is not acceptable,» she added.
A Black Lives Matter supporter, Anthony Foote, expressed his astonishment over the march. «I believe this is egregious. I do believe this is mocking the absolute movement that is currently happening, Black Lives Matter. This right here is totally a slap in the face to so many young adults and generations who are protesting and moving for peace for longevity. This is disrespectful,» he said.
In a response to the pressure for policy changes, after George Floyd's killing in Minneapolis, the House of Representatives passed a bill that would put limits to police forces in order to curtail excessive use of force, among other measures. The bill is stalled in the Senate.