‘Back the Blue’ rally in City Island calls for officials to support police officers
Police officers are "worth their weight in gold" was one of the statements made Saturday at Hawkins Park on City Island during a “Back the Blue” rally.
The rally had some of New York’s finest applauding.
"Our leaders, our city officials are not doing what they’re supposed to do to back these guys. So, guess what? We're going to do it," said Robert Carmody, who helped organize the rally to apply pressure. "We're going to make City Hall do what they have to do and fund these guys, put anti-crime back on the street and stop the crime in New York City," Carmody added.
Supporters wore "thin blue line" flags and condemned anti-police rhetoric in front of the park's patriotic monument that honors “The Boys of City Island Who Served in the World War."
"Our police are not the enemy," said City Islander Robert Dimartini, a former NYPD lieutenant who is known as the most decorated police officer in NYPD history. He says he helped remove thousands of guns off the streets without ever taking a life. Dimartini also responded to accusations that the department is racist after months of protest spearheaded by the Black Lives Matter movement in the wake of George Floyd’s death.
"When I was a cop, the communities loved us and we loved them. I see the Black communities, the inner cities, they don't want the police out of their communities," Dimartini said.
Organizers said the shifting of funding away from the NYPD has impacted policing right here on City Island.
"We just don't have enough police," Carmody said.
Supporters joined in a unified call to take the handcuffs off the cops in what some say has been an eye-opening year.
"In the events that have taken place this year, we even need them more so," said police supporter Laura Bivona.
News 12 reached out to the mayor's office and the NYPD for a response to this story and is waiting to hear back.