Protesters square off at Scottsdale rally to support police

There were some scuffles and angry words at a Saturday morning rally in Scottsdale to show support for police officers, but overall it was a peaceful event.

The rally at Scottsdale Police Department headquarters started with the playing of the National Anthem. A crowd of supporters holding signs praising police and other law-enforcement agencies sang along. But then a group of opposing protesters arrived with signs of their own.

There was a small scuffle between a cameraman and some attendees, and words were exchanged on both sides of the issue, but the rally was otherwise peaceful.

Scottsdale Mayor Jim Lane said he was there to support Scottsdale police and that people shouldn’t get the wrong idea from the event.

“I think there was some confusion here,” Lane said. “We’re not trying to provoke anything, that’s not the message we’re sending.This is to express gratitude and support for the difficult job these men and women do.”

Scottsdale resident Amy Warren brought her second-grade daughter, Mya, to the event, which several attendees heard about on social media sites.

“I want this to be a teaching moment. I want her to be able to have trust in law enforcement,” Warren said.

But some of the opposing protesters said they had issues with trust that comes without any question.

“No one wants to challenge the police,” Phoenix resident Jonathan B. said. He declined to give his name, fearing retribution at work for his part in the protest.

At one point, two attendees, each on one side of the issue, faced off to see who could make the most noise, one person using an air horn and the other using a megaphone.

“It’s like surreal out here,” Jonathan said.

Other protesters, some wearing costumes designed to look like military uniforms, declined to give their name or be interviewed.

Several members of the Blue Knights, a national motorcycle club composed of current and former law-enforcement officers, said the protesters’ antics took away from the intended message of the rally.

“Really, it’s about respect,” said Steve B., a Blue Knights member and former officer. “It’s just a shame that this is taking away from the issue.”

Article source: http://www.azcentral.com/story/news/local/scottsdale/2015/01/17/scottsdale-police-rally-protesters-arizona-abrk/21919487/