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‘Back the Blue’ rally and RYA protest meet head on

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ROCKFORD (WREX) — From supporting the men and women in blue, to demanding for justice and change. Protesters made their voices heard in Rockford on Saturday.

People came from all over to support law enforcement in the 'Back the Blue' rally.

Posted outside the Winnebago County Justice Center, officials like Rockford Chief of Police, Dan O'Shea, spoke on the importance of police in our communities.

"Across the nation there has been consternation with police and protesters. This is a type of rally that we really support peaceful protests and rallies," said O'Shea.

Signs saying 'we support our police' and "more police funding' towered over the crowd as Rep. John Cabello thanked Rockford's law enforcement.

"They should make sure and be in our thoughts and prayers at all times. Because they are the one's now in my opinion protecting the throne of god," said Cabello.

Just across the street protesters were chanting a different message about police.

"These police officers don't have restraint in situations where they feel emotionally triggered," said Leslie Rolfe.

Protesters against police held a counter protest where many of them demanded that police officers be held accountable for their actions.

This included the arrest of several protesters the night before where 11 people were arrested for mob action during a protest.

"If what we did yesterday was 'mob action' then for the last four weeks the Rockford police has aided us in my imagine," said Rolfe.

While these groups may not agree on their messages, both say they will continue to fight for what they think is right.

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Erin Chapman

Erin Chapman joined 13 WREX as an MMJ in May of 2020. Chapman earned her bachelor’s degree in Communication with a minor in English at the University of Dayton. While in school, Chapman worked part-time for WISH-TV after interning in 2019. She has also interned at WDTN in Datyon, OH. Have a news tip? Email her at:

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