Just over 100 people from all areas and walks of life converged on the Intersection of Redlands Blvd & Orange Street on October 9th. The event was organized by the Redlands Tea Party Patriots but there were people from all walks of life, professions and areas of the Inland Empire. Many of the people that were active members of the Tea Party Group were happily surprised to see so many old and new people.
The #bluelivesmatter & #alllivesmatter rally was the brain child of Redlands residents Richard and Joann Marshall, was organized by the Redlands Tea Party Patriots with help from Gregory Britttain.
Richard and Joann Marshall told the Redlands Daily Facts the following:
“When we saw Black Lives Matter start marching and having rallies, every time they held a rally, somewhere in the United States another police officer was ambushed and murdered,” Richard Marshall said. “We thought it was time to do something in Southern California to bring attention — that all lives matter and especially police lives because without them we’d have anarchy.”
More people quoted by by the Redlands Daily Facts:
Delia Fontanes of Redlands said she participated in the rally to show support for law enforcement.
“Normally when I see a police officer I walk up to him or her to thank them for their service,” she said while holding a “Blue Lives Matter” sign and holding an American flag.
Debbie Holley participated in the rally holding signs in support of Redlands police Cpl. Kyle Alexander and Officer Chris Mead.
“We’re just praying for them and supporting them,” Holley said.
What was awesome to see was the large amount of Police Cruisers that drove through the intersection to get a taste of the positive vibes being tossed their way. There were also off duty officers from other local agencies and sheriff’s departments. Also in attendance was Paul Chabot the founder of Drug Free CA out supporting the cause and the local officers. Paul said “It’s time we show the officers that out on the uniform that we appreciate what they do.”
Another surprise was the only elected official out showing support wasn’t a Redlands Council Member it was Rialto’s own Shawn O’Connell. Councilman O’Connell told the Redlands Daily Facts:
“One thing people don’t realize is these officers put on the uniform and the bulletproof vest every day knowing there’s a very good chance someone is going to come up and shoot them from behind and they’re going to leave their families fatherless,” O’Connell said. “They do it because of the profession and because they want to make a difference. There is a silent majority and it’s about time people start speaking up.”
With the event being put together by the Redlands Tea Party group Councilman O’Connell told Rialto Now:
“For me this is not about politics! As a former Police Sergeant I attended this function as a private citizen supporting Law Enforcement. They are the ones who put on a uniform every day to protect us – America. They do so knowing full well that they may not be returning home that night. When officers are assassinated in the street their children are forced to attend their funerals, I say enough is enough. This is not about liberals or Conservatives or Democrats and Republicans it’s about the men and women who put on that uniform. Are there problems within dome police departments? The answer is yes, as there is within any organization. Things have to change within law enforcement, within our society, within the family structure and within our government. The concern I have is that we have reached a point where officers are being assassinated in the street and not enough people are getting involved. The next step is the complete breakdown of social rules, which will ultimately lead to the suffering of socirty. Don’t you remember 9/11 when both the Police & Fire ran toward the Twin Towers? When they did so regardless of the safety for their own lives? How did we get to the point of killing officers just for wearing a uniform – 14 years later? That is why I was out there that night waving an American Flag. Not to support any political group or cause. I was there proudly to support the men & women of Law Enforcement.”
Councilman O’Connell’s response was to a Oped written and published in the Redlands Daily Facts where Advisory Board Member Peter Coonradt lays a heavy line of politics to shadow the great event that was to honor our Public Safety officers. Mr. Coonradt said the following:
“Once again the Redlands Tea Party Patriots have demonstrated that they’re not part of the solution, they’re part of the problem. I’m referring to the manner in which they promoted their sponsorship of the Blue Lives Matter rally downtown. I have the highest regard for the Redlands Police Department and law enforcement generally.”
Then he goes off and Quotes a Redlands Tea Party Member but doesn’t tell you where he gets this quote?
“John Berry, RTPP cabinet member, is quoted in the Facts saying, “…but unfortunately the left has tried to take advantage of some unfortunate incidents and turned it into a political crusade against the police.” The “unfortunate incidents” Mr. Berry refers to include unarmed black men being shot, choked and beaten to death in clear violation of police protocol.”
We looked at the other story we originally quoted and couldn’t find any such mention. Looks like Mr. Coonradt is trying really hard to make a moment happen that didn’t. The crowd was very diverse and included people from all over the Inland Empire. I think that pictures and first hand testimonials should speak for themselves. I applaud the Redlands Tea Party for making this happen since many other cities have not planned any events to counter act the negative hate speech by the #blacklivesmatter group. We will end this post with a comment by a Mr. Ken Hunter on this issue:
The Blue Lives Matter rally last week was nothing other than supporting our Redlands police department. The author here assumes it was a rally against someone or some group. Here is the section that is outrageous and slanderous in away that is not funny and meant to hurt people. The author says..”.If only the Redlands Tea Party Patriots had reached out with a welcoming hand to Redlanders all across the political spectrum to show support for the professionals who look out for all of us every day, instead of unfairly demonizing people who call attention to racism, and work to end it.”
Many veterans, current and former police officers, Redlands business owners and even city council members from other cities took part in the event. Who exactly did the Redlands Tea Party demonize? The event was open to the public and everyone welcome, so exactly who did not get invited? There really were only about 11 people I know from the Redlands Tea Party at the event. There were about 28 people from some group called “Oath Keepers” there. A City Councilman from Rialto was there. Some Redlands residents heard about the event and wanted to participate and it was great to meet so many new faces.
The author assumes somehow that the event was a Tea Party event. It was not. It was actually scheduled and sponsored by someone else altogether. Because it was an open event, RTTP posted it to their members as a positive cause for the community that they agreed with and some of them showed up. Somehow the author further assumed that everyone there was with RTTP. Not true. Looks like someone on the RDF advisory board just fell out of the wrong side of the spin room again.