At a time when they say good cops are being unfairly vilified along with the bad ones, a Canby group is planning a peaceful demonstration to show their support for the “the men and women in blue.”
Titled simply “Police Solidarity,” the event is being planned for 6 p.m. Friday, June 26, at Wait Park.
“We are living in a time where the guardians of our community are being vilified,” organizer Jordan Tibbals, a Canby resident, wrote on the event’s Facebook page. “In response, we must stand up for them as they have done for us.”
Details of exactly what the event will look like are still being worked out, Tibbals admitted, but he is certain of one thing.
“This will be a peaceful and respectful gathering to support the men and women who serve and protect our communities as police officers,” he told the Canby Now Podcast. “I just believe the men and women who serve as police officers don’t always get the respect or appreciation that they deserve. My hope is to do my small part in changing that.”
If your intention is to detract from the purpose of this gathering, he added on the event’s Facebook page, please do not attend.
The nation and many communities across Oregon, large and small, have been embroiled in weeks of large and sometimes violent protests over the death of George Floyd, an unarmed black man who died at the hands of four former Minneapolis police officers.
Protesters demand significant police reform — or, in some cases, the abolition of police altogether — and an end to systemic racism.
Canby, too, has been the site of one peaceful demonstration, a candlelight vigil in honor of Floyd and other black lives lost to senseless and racially motivated violence that was also held at Wait Park and drew at least 200 people.
The CNP asked Tibbals if his event is meant to be a response to the protests or calls for police reform.
“This is just in response to any time our police are vilified or disrespected,” he replied. “We just want them to know we support and appreciate them.”
Tibbals has had limited encounters with Canby police, but said they have always been “very courteous” to him and his family.
He described a time he had his car broken into a few years back, when the Canby officer not only helped him recover papers the thief had dumped in a nearby alley, but also waited while Tibbals took a thorough inventory — despite freezing temperatures that night.
“My other dealing was when my daughter, just over a year old at the time, was very intrigued by the man in uniform,” he said. “He knelt down to her level and gave her a sticker. She lit up like someone handed us a winning lotto ticket.”