BALTIMORE — A crowd of people who support local police gathered for a rally Saturday at the Baltimore War Memorial.
The event, organized by a group called #WalkAway, was held as police departments in many communities across the country deal with frequent rioting and protests – as well as efforts to slash their operational budgets or even disband their departments. Overnight there were riots and unrest, which occurred in Portland, Seattle, Austin, Aurora, Co., Oakland, Omaha, Los Angeles, and more.
Yet the scene at the Baltimore War Memorial was much different. Images posted on social media showed many at the event carrying America flags or wearing patriotic apparel as they listened to speakers and watched entertainers, Fox News reported.
The rally was organized by group founder Brandon Straka. The event occurred just weeks after Maryland’s Republican governor, Larry Hogan, lashed out at Baltimore City Councilman Ryan Dorsey, a Democrat who has been critical of the city’s police union and suggested in a July 4 Twitter message that the city’s memorial to fallen city police officers be removed.
I am disgusted by the vile remarks about removing the public memorial saluting Baltimore’s fallen police officers, which was funded and championed by their family members. My full statement: pic.twitter.com/0jySvjBOKz
— Governor Larry Hogan (@GovLarryHogan) July 9, 2020
#WalkAway Unity Rescue America Rallies In Baltimore City. We Love America in Baltimore City today. We will not be Divided we are Americans! pic.twitter.com/xqS7ydjdlh
— Zulieka Baysmore (@ZBaysmore) July 26, 2020
“The Left has become so extreme and relentless that it is now time for us to fight back!” Straka says on the organization’s website.
“The Left has become so extreme and relentless that it is now time for us to fight back!”
— Brandon Straka, founder, #WalkAway campaign
Saturday’s speakers included Shannon Wright, a Republican who is running for mayor of Baltimore, a Democrat-led city of more than 600,000 residents that routinely ranks high in crime and poverty statistics.
In Baltimore at the #WalkAway Rescue America rally. So many good voices for our nation today. pic.twitter.com/KMXMxprzLn
— Kristin Dalin (@RadioactiveIM3) July 25, 2020
Wright, 53, is vying to become the city’s first Republican mayor since Theodore McKeldin left office in 1967.
“I am the type of leader who recognizes family is the cornerstone of every community,” Wright said when she launched her general-election campaign in June, according to The Baltimore Sun.
Wright will face City Council President Brandon Scott, who defeated former Mayor Sheila Dixon and current Mayor Bernard “Jack” Young, to win the local Democratic Party’s mayoral nomination.
Young, 66, had taken office in April 2019 after his predecessor, former Mayor Catherine Pugh, took a long leave of absence and later resigned, amid health problems and accusations of involvement in a book-sales scandal.
In February, Pugh received a three-year prison sentence after taking a plea deal on charges of conspiracy and tax evasion.
Saturday’s pro-police crowd also heard from Tim Fazenbaker, founder of FreeandFairElection.org, and political activists Chris Anderson, Jovani Patterson and Eugene Boikai.
Singer Joy Villa – who drew attention in January for wearing a pro-Trump dress to the Grammy Awards event — performed for the crowd. She wore the dress to Saturday’s event as well.