'We feel the police have been vilified' - Pro-police rally held in Port Jeff Station
After weeks of protests in the wake of George Floyd's death, a very different rally took place in Port Jefferson Station Monday - one at which people wanted to show support for the police.
A crowd of hundreds turned out for the pro-police rally, including some current and former law enforcement officers and their family and friends. Some were waving flags and holding signs, but everyone's message was the same of support for the men and women in blue.
"Give them the support. Show them that we care about them. And preach the message of unity," says Jonathan Stuart, of Manorville.
Retired homicide detective Robert Hines from Miller Place was in attendance. All three of his children are police officers.
"We feel the police have been vilified and wrongly so. Statistics have been bent,"says Hines. "We believe a lot of what you see in here today is not correctly reported."
The Hines family, like others at the rally, say they worry about an "anti-police sentiment."
"My heart breaks. And it breaks for all the policemen who work so hard and for the families and aren't giving the credit that they deserve," says Mary Hines.
Organizers stressed that their message is meant to encourage more unity and less divisiveness.
"It's horrible what they're going through. I mean out here it's not bad but in the city they're getting bottles and rocks thrown at them," says James Robitsek, of Setauket. "Would you be able to do your job like that?"