One day, two rallies: Supporters of the police and Black Lives Matter gather peacefully in Milford

Milford. The organizers and supporters of both rallies expressed respect and understanding for one another, and hope for a better future.

24 Jun 2020 | 02:27

Milford saw two rallies on Saturday, June 20: one to support the police, locally and nationally, and another later in the afternoon to support the Black Lives Matter movement. Both events were very peaceful, with no counter-protesters at either rally.

The coordinators of the police rally were Mike and Dawn Bukaj. Mike emphasized that the event not a protest but a support rally and encouraged peaceful conduct. He stressed that everyone present needed to respect others, either the police rally underway or the Black Lives Matter event to be held afterward. This set the tone for a large but very amicable event.

Two police chiefs -- of the Eastern Pike Regional Police Department, Chad Stewart, and of the Milford Borough Police, Matt McCormack -- thanked the crowd for their support.

Chief McCormack and several other officers said they were totally against the George Floyd murder and hoped justice will be served, since it has put all police in a day ad light.

Other speakers included Teddy Daniels; Darla Dickson, whose son, Brian, was murdered by Eric Frein at the Blooming Grove Police Barracks in 2014; and the current Pennsylvania State Police Chaplin. All called for unity and peace.

The LEO Only group was raising money to assist families who lost loved ones in the line of duty. Lin Polen said her son Craig formed the group. Present also was a large contingent from Kahr Arms in Greeley.

Black Lives Matter

The Black Lives Matter rally was equally peaceful. All of the speakers -- including Royal Parker, Lizzy Dillon, and Allen McCain -- called for police reform, better training, and accountability wherever it was needed.

Parker stressed that Black Lives Matter means only that black lives matter too, not that black lives matter more. Of course all life is precious, he said -- but he felt that the perception of some is that black lives do not matter at all. That perception is not reality, he said.

McCain noted the heavy presence of white people in the crowd. He thanked them and everyone present for their support.

He told them that they could have stayed home to pursue their personal objectives but chose to come out and support the goals of Black Lives Matter. This gives hope for positive improvement in our society, he said.

The speakers’ addresses were followed by an orderly march through town.