IONIA, Mich. (WOOD) — After protests against police brutality and racial injustice erupted across the nation, a small group gathered Sunday afternoon in Ionia for a “Police Lives Matter” and Flag Day demonstration.
Pastor David White of the Bible Believers Grace Church of Pewamo organized the event and insisted it was not a protest.
The demonstration kicked off at 6 p.m. in front of the Ionia County Sheriff’s Office. A little more than a dozen people gathered for the event.
The group began the demonstration with the Pledge of Allegiance and then went on to hear from local leaders, including County Commissioner David Hodges.
“I thought that I could come and support the police. I do know that there are some problems in that small percentage of them. What happened in Minneapolis was absolutely a crime and there’s been other places,” Hodges said. “I just wanted them to know that there are people out there who realize that there are differences between good and bad officers and the bad ones should be punished.”
White says police have been vilified on the news and social media, while performing a thankless job. He says he asked people to gather to push back against that narrative and remind people that police lives matter.
“I hope that they get some kind of feeling that, hey we’re behind you. We’re not a part of social media and some lie that someone is trying to promote to tear up our country,” White said. “I think the majority of white folk, the majority of black folk, the majority of Asian, the majority of Hispanic are on cops’ side.”
White said he does not agree with the Black Lives Matter movement, citing that they are racist and support homosexuality. He says his goal of the Sunday demonstration was to get people to think.
“I think what’s going on is dehumanizing the police and I’m not for that,” White said. “I’m glad that they chose that profession to protect and to serve and I bet that is over 99% of policemen, cops are good.”
The Ionia County Sheriff Charlie Noll also attended the event.