Hundreds gather for Evansville pro-police rally
EVANSVILLE, Ind. -- More than 200 people showed their support for police officers during an Evansville rally that's the latest response in Indiana to protests nationwide against police killings of unarmed black men.
Monday's rally outside Evansville's Civic Center drew a crowd who held signs reading "Thank You," ''United We Stand" and "We support you" while U.S. Rep. Larry Bucshon, Mayor Lloyd Winnecke and others urged citizens to support law enforcement.
City Councilwoman Missy Mosby said she helped organize the rally because she's concerned about the morale of Evansville and Vanderburgh County police officers following local and national protests against police killings of unarmed black men in Missouri and New York.
On Saturday, hundreds of northern Indiana residents rallied in Goshen to show their support for law-enforcement in response to the police abuse protests.
Evansville Police Chief Billy Bolin said after Monday's rally that the national protests have "absolutely" shaken the morale of his officers.
"The guys feel like no one appreciates them. They feel like they're made out to be enemies. Most of these guys, honestly, wanted to be police officers to make a difference or do good ... and that's not the narrative you see on national news," Bolin said.
During Monday's rally, a man and woman stood directly behind the speakers' podium holding signs in protest of police officers - one of them reading "The police live the lives of a megalomaniac mercenary," the Evansville Courier & Press reported (http://bit.ly/1tgXjqk ).
That prompted those attending the rally, including state Rep. Tom Washburne, to use their own signs to try to obscure those protesters' signs.
The rally was the third in December on the steps of the Civic Center, and followed two protests against police killings of unarmed black men.
The Rev. Gerald Arnold, who heads Evansville's NAACP chapter, said he attended the rally to demonstrate that the NAACP supports police officers. He said the energy shown during Monday's rally and the recent protests and vigils needs to go toward improving the southwestern Indiana city.
"Everybody's attention is there. What we need is someone to come together and pull of this together. ... We're all one people in all one city. Let's sit down and talk about how to make it better," Arnold said.
Information from: Evansville Courier & Press, http://www.courierpress.com