More than 150 people showed their support for law enforcement in a pro-police walk on Saturday in Massapequa, a community that has lost NYPD officers in the line of duty.
“We’re here for no political reason other than to support and to show respect to our local and national law enforcement,” said organizer David Gjodesen, 42, a retired Baltimore City police officer living in Massapequa.
Gjodesen carried a large American flag as he led the group, including his twin brother — an officer in Connecticut — in the peaceful walk on the grounds of Massapequa High School. Some supporters carried signs, including one that said “We Support Our Police.”
The walk comes days after the Dallas sniper shooting that left five police officers dead and seven injured. In Tennessee, Georgia and Missouri, officials said civilians have shot at officers, wounding two and critically injuring one.
Nationwide, protests have erupted over the killing of black men — most recently in Louisiana and Minnesota — by police.
Gjodesen said he decided late Friday to organize the event after seeing news reports, including President Barack Obama’s remarks about two civilian deaths “prior to the facts and investigation being played out.”
“The next day we had an assassination,” Gjodesen said. “I personally believe his verbiage did not at all help the situation.”
Maggie Anderson, 57, said she came to the walk to support her son, a fourth-generation NYPD officer who has thyroid cancer.
“He loves the police department with all his heart and he feels bad for everyone, including the two people that just got killed” in Louisiana and Minnesota, Anderson, of West Babylon, said tearfully.
In 2015, NYPD officer Brian Moore, 25, of Massapequa, died in the line of duty. In 1988, NYPD officer Edward Byrne, 22, also of Massapequa, was shot dead.