ST. JOHNS COUNTY, Fla. – Hundreds of people gathered Saturday at two locations in St. Johns County to show their appreciation and support for law enforcement agencies and officers.
One rally was held in Nocatee, and the other event was held near Fruit Cove.
In Nocatee, peopled lined the west side of Crosswater Parkway near Adventure Trail for the event to support law enforcement.
“There is a lot of support out here for law enforcement, what they do,. They serve and protect us and they can put their lives on a daily basis,” said Greg Kellar, who helped organize the event.
In return, the public’s appreciation was matched with a parade procession, courtesy of the St. Johns County Sheriff’s Office.
“It makes me feel how I should feel when I am doing this job. It’s exactly why we do this job -- that feeling you get inside when you know you’re actually making a difference,” said Cmdr. Scott Beaver, with the Sheriff’s Office.
Hundreds gathered in Nocatee to support law enforcement officers and agencies. In return, the @SJSOPIO displayed their appreciation with this parade. @wjxt4— Zachery Lashway (@ZachLashway) June 27, 2020
Miles away, along Race Track Road at Flora Branch Boulevard, others gathered to support men and women in blue.
“It’s good. The community at a whole, regardless of which side of the fence you’re on, it really, kind of, brings us together,” said Jacksonville resident Norm Brewer.
Kaitlyn Register, 15, shared with News4Jax why it was important to her to attend the event.
“I come from a family of police officers, and going through such a rough time, they just need to remember how loved and supported they are and how welcome they are in this world,” Register said.
Among the crowd, one woman stood silent with a sign with the names of Black victims shot by police.
“I just want to spread love and empathy for everyone,” said Nayeli Jimenez. “End police brutality. Black Lives Matter. No justice, no peace. Stop police brutality.”
Amid tensions, Beaver shared a message:
“Just continue to do like you have always done. There’s not a lot of people causing these problems for us, and continue to support law enforcement, continue to be law-abiding citizens, take care of your family and work hard. And we are always here, no matter what people say or do toward us, we are always here to protect and serve our community.”