As violence against police officers increases amid continuing widespread protests, the families of America’s fallen cops are speaking out.
At a large rally in Long Island on Saturday, the widow of one New York Police Department officer made an emotional appeal to other officers, encouraging them to “not back down,” as reported by the New York Post.
Lisa Tuozzolo’s husband, an NYPD sergeant, died after he was shot in the head in the Bronx more than three years ago.
She spoke at a “Back the Blue” rally in East Meadow, where police families, organizations, and supporters joined to show solidarity with the nation’s embattled cops.
Though roughly 1,000 people showed up, the crowd was “near silent” as Tuozzolo shared the story of her late husband’s life, according to local reports.
“We will keep fighting,” she said. “Do not back down. Keep fighting.”
Officers have been injured and even killed in protests that have turned destructive and violent in many cases since the death of George Floyd in May.
There have also been reports of cops leaving the force as some local leaders have backed efforts to defund and even dismantle local police agencies. Among many communities, however, police have received an outpouring of support from the citizens they are tasked with protecting and serving.
“Out here protecting us”
The Long Island event, which was organized by the nonprofit group Law Enforcement Officers Weekend, did attract a handful of counterprotesters. They were far outnumbered by those in attendance to support the rally.
Another speaker, Genesis Familia, described the “amazing human being” her slain mother, an NYPD detective, was.
“And I just want all Americans to remember that all these cops out here protecting us are human beings with families and friends and loved ones who need them to come home,” she said.
Tuozzolo later echoed those remarks in a Fox News Channel interview, declaring that it is “so vitally important that we make sure that our officers know how much they are cared about and how much we appreciate them and how much we really support them.
While police misconduct is obviously a concern that needs to be addressed, the ongoing backlash against the nation’s men and women in law enforcement must end.