RALEIGH (WTVD) -- Crowds gathered in Raleigh Saturday morning for a "Back the Blue" rally supporting law enforcement. The number of people attending the pro-law enforcement rally are just a fraction of the 40,000 members of "Back the Blue NC" Facebook group.
Back the Blue NC Facebook group founder Lindsay LiCausi spoke at the rally about the "Defund the Police" movement and the killing of George Floyd.
"I also was upset by what I saw unfold during that incident, as I know most of us were," said LiCausi. "Anybody with a heart would be upset watching a grown man beg for his life and beg for his mother as he lay on the ground dying, no matter what his criminal background entailed. However in America, the beautiful thing is that when we have a problem, we can fix it."
Another speaker with years of experience as an officer called for fiscal support of police while watching for those who cause community mistrust. "As an expert witness I travel around the country, and testify in cases of excessive use of force. But those officers, if they're systemically bad, need to be removed so that they don't tarnish the badge any longer," said MP Lt. Colonel Roy Taylor, US Army Reserve.
Raleigh police officer Charles Ainsworth made an appearance at the rally. Ainsworth was shot in the line of duty in January 2019. There were masked Raleigh officers at the rally. Masks are mandated "in certain high density settings where social distancing is difficult." However, some were disturbed by members of the crowd not wearing masks.
"They're not protecting the people around them. When they say they're for all lives, they're not even doing what they can to protect themselves and the people who they came here with," said Caitlin Fowler.
Troy Lewis and Jordan Wilson told ABC11 they have medical conditions and the governor's order exempts them.
"I feel like it's up to the people. It's an opinion. It's their right, if they want to wear one. If they feel like they're unsafe or obviously, if they're sick, don't come out," said Wilson.