LAWRENCEVILLE, Ill. (WTWO/WAWV)– Marshall Pierson wanted to find a way to show his support to his local police department after passing by a Back the Blue rally in Salem, IL.
He believes police are an essential part of the community.
“I see so much of it on tv wanting to defund the police and get rid of police departments and that just seems silly to me. Whenever somebody would break into your house, who are you going to call? We need the police,” he said.
Pierson and five others collaborated to organize their own Back the Blue rally in downtown Lawrenceville.
Christopher Swick, one of the organizers, said their idea was well received.
“We can’t leave the small communities out. It’s still the heart of America. We don’t need to just focus on the big cities. Things can trickle down. It could always end up here. You never really know,” Swick said.
The group gathered at the Lawrenceville courthouse and listened to speeches from organizers and others in attendance.
Illinois state representative Darren Bailey also attended.
He said he hopes the community can avoid what’s happened in other cities in regards to police brutality.
“There’s just a lot of hate. There’s a lot of people being loud, maybe to get attention. I just hope that eventually we can squelch that. We can come together, we can listen, we can work together and move forward in the days ahead. I believe that 90 percent of that is accountability on both sides.”