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Rockford’s ‘Back the Blue Rally’ aims to show appreciation for the work law enforcement does

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ROCKFORD (WREX) — While protests against police brutality continue around the country, groups in Rockford are coming together to support those who serve on the force by speaking up.

People in and around Rockford are taking a stand for what they believe in by using freedom of speech.

"We're going to show folks how it's done and how we can have a rally that is getting a message across without becoming violent. Just basically doing things the right way," said Republican Party of Winnebago County Chairman Eli Nicolosi.

Winnebago County GOP along with other groups are working together and welcoming anyone to join their "Back the Blue Rally" on Saturday. The event aims to show appreciation for the work law enforcement does.

Rep. John Cabello (R-Machesney Park), who is also a Rockford Police Detective, is speaking at the event and says he is standing not behind police but with them.

"The message will be stay positive, stay professional and do everything the way you have been trained," said Cabello.

Jim Sacia is also speaking on Saturday. He is a former state representative for district 89 and served 30 years in law enforcement. He says the incident with George Floyd is not acceptable but he says he believes most police officers work for the good of the people.

"We can not tolerate what's happening in America. Portland is just absolutely out of control. Seattle is a mess. Chicago is a mess and it's become a political game and a political battle which is very very unfortunate," said Sacia.

Cabello says everyone has the right to speak their mind and hopes any counter protesters that are against police will be peaceful just like he plans to be.

"It's time to put out our blue lights again and it's time to put out our American flags again. We can have these differences of opinion and that we can welcome these differences of opinion," said Cabello.

The rally is scheduled for Saturday at 10 a.m. at the Winnebago County Justice Center. Organizers say Rockford Youth Activism is welcomed to attend as they have the right to make their voices heard just like they do.

RYA has posted on social media that they plan to be there.

Cassandra Bretl

Multimedia Journalist
Cassandra is the morning reporter for 13 News Today.
She joined the WREX team in July of 2019 after graduating from the University of Wisconsin – Milwaukee with a major, minor and a certificate.
She is excited to bring her skills back to the 815 where she is originally from.
You can contact Cassandra at

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