Bronx police supporters hold peace and unity march for the NYPD

Residents and police march in the Peace and Unity March for the NYPD on Aug. 21
Photo by Jason Cohen

Last week, Bronx residents got together to publicly show their respect for the NYPD.

On Aug. 21, the brothers in blue and residents came together in solidarity as a peace march was held so support the NYPD. People walked from 236th Street and Broadway to Van Cortlandt Park, chanting “fund the police” and “violence must stop.”

The event was organized by retired Lieutenant and former Congressional Candidate Sammy Ravelo. Ravelo explained there were over 2,000 murders in NYC in 1990, but just 254 in 2018. However, these past five or six months are reminiscent of the 90s.

Ravelo told the Bronx Times that just because cops in Minneapolis and Louisville committed crimes, it does not mean all police are bad.

“You can’t use what happened in other states and compare it to what happened in NYC,” he explained. “If somebody does something down south and it’s bad, they want to guilt the NYPD.”

Ravelo stressed the city wants to hold police accountable, but by eliminating cash bail and defunding the police, he questioned how cops can properly do their jobs.

“Right now the biggest misconception is that Bronx residents want to defund the police,” Ravelo stated. “They want to feel safe.”

Among the speakers that morning were Darrin Pircher, retried NYPD detective, PBA President Patrick Lynch, SBA President Ed Mullins Joseph Imperatrice, Blue Live Matters-NYC founder, Marcos Miranda, president of NYS Chaplain Task Force,  Luis Paniagua Alianza Internacional de Capellanes, Raysa Galvez, president of NY Dominican Officers, Jorge Leon, president of National Latino Peace Officers Association Bronx Chapter, Johnny Nunez, president of Global Alliance Latino Law Enforcement Professionals and Rabbi Levi Shemtov, Chabad Lubavitch of Riverdale.

Pircher, who often speaks to the news about criminal justice, is angry at how the city is being run. He said that while the George Floyd murder was horrific, it does not mean there should be sweeping police reform in the NYPD.

He said that New York City, which has the largest police force in the country, has “no support.” Pircher added that those with liberal beliefs and numerous politicians have this city “under siege.”

“This is the time we need to band together for NYC,” he stressed. “We have a complete lunatic that runs this city in Mayor de Blasio. We have another lunatic at the head of the City Council, Corey Johnson. These are individuals that are destroying our safety. We are going to be the people who take back our city.”

Rabbi Levi Shemtov said he prays everyday for the safety of the police. The rabbi noted how people can hate the police, yet if they are in trouble call cops for help.

Shemtov told the attendees how his father grew up in Crown Heights and once saved the life of a Black woman who got shot. It was those types of actions that led the rabbi to realize every life matters.

He is sick of hatred towards the police. In fact, the rebbe said he would paint over the Black Lives Matter mural in front of Trump Tower with Blue Lives Matter.

Lynch, who has been quite vocal of this administration, didn’t hold back his disdain of the mayor and other politicians. He stressed that in times like these, the city must come together and support the police.

“It’s never been more difficult to be a police officer right now,” he said. “We have leaders in the city who quite frankly, I don’t know who they are speaking for. They’re not speaking for the folks in the neighborhood.”

According Lynch, the Council and mayor need to realize they made a mistake with defunding the police. He asserted that this move would make crime continue to rise and would “have blood on the streets” every day.

“Shootings in our city now are at a 1990 level,” he remarked. “The tragedies are coming so fast we’re getting immune to it. It’s up to us as police officers to go out there and do the job we know so well, but we need support.”

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