Demonstrators withstand heat to show support for police in Bloomfield Township
Bloomfield Township — Braving the 90-degree heat, about 25 demonstrators gathered outside the Bloomfield Township Police Department to "Back the Blue" and show their support for police.
Marian Sheridan's husband is a former police captain. She said the event, was meant to show appreciation for police at a time when some are calling for police departments to be defunded in the aftermath of the death of George Floyd, a Black man, by a white police officer in Minneapolis on May 25.
"What's happening to our police department is they're becoming demoralized," said Sheridan, one of the organizers of the demonstration. "These are the same guys, the same men and women, who just 20 years ago for 9/11 were held up on a pedestal for their bravery."
Mindy Albright, 67, a crisis intervention specialist who works with first responders and schools in Oakland County to help them process trauma, attended the demonstration with her service dog, an Australian Cattle named Sydney.
The Farmington Hills-resident said when she works with police after they've experienced a traumatic event, she tries to prevent officers from quitting their jobs by giving them tools to help them process what they've experienced.
"It's not just been in the last month, since George Floyd was killed. And he was killed," Albright said. "We need to support our officers because they lay their lives down every day, all the time. Every stop that they make."
The demonstration — organized Wednesday and promoted by the Michigan Conservative Coalition — included several American flags, some with blue painters tape over the flag's fourth white stripe. Numerous cars and a semi-truck honked as they drove by the group.
A few demonstrators held Trump/Pence signs. At least one Republican Party employee with a clipboard weaved through the group, looking to register people to vote.
Phil Langmeyer, Bloomfield Township's Chief of Police, was inside the air-conditioned police department building during the demonstration. He said he wanted to make sure everyone was safe and was able to exercise their right to demonstrate.
Langmeyer also said his department worked with the organizers of Black Lives Matter protests held at Bloomfield Hills and Seaholm high schools.
"It's nice to have the support of the community," he said. "We try to do everything we can to support the community and they support us back."