‘Back the Blue’ group, ‘Defund the Police’ protesters gather outside District 1

'Back the Blue' support rally held outside District 1 Police Headquarters Monday

CINCINNATI (FOX19) - A Back the Blue group assembled outside Cincinnati Police District 1 Headquarters in the West End Monday to show support for police officers.

They were joined in the late afternoon by a group protesting against the police department.

The groups did not appear to come into contact but rather remained on either side of Ezzard Charles Drive.

But they traded provocative symbols, with the Back the Blue group waving a ‘Thin Blue Line’ flag and protesters holding signs saying ‘Defund the Police.’

Controversy flared in the aftermath of violence that occurred in Downtown Cincinnati and Over-the-Rhine at the end of May when reports emerged that Hamilton County Sheriff’s Office deputies had raised a ‘Thin Blue Line’ flag at the Hamilton County Justice Center.

The mood Monday, absent the venom and vitriol of two months ago, was that much less tense. The protesters numbered only a few dozen, and the Back the Blue group sounded a positive message.

“We are here today to show support to our Cincinnati Police Department,” Michelle Schank said. “Having a family member, my husband, as a police sergeant, we want to show the police that we support them and that we appreciate them.”

Organizers of the Back the Blue group, which visited District 3 previously, say they plan to assemble every Monday until they have visited every district.

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