‘Honk if you love ‘em’
Motorists who made their way through the intersection of Cape Coral Parkway and Del Prado Boulevard Tuesday evening honked their horns and waved their hands.
No, there wasn’t a a traffic tie-up aggitating drivers. In fact, the motorists were happy to show their support to the numerous sign wavers lined along the road.
Supporters of law enforcement of all kinds came to show their appreciation to those who protect us during a rally held by Support Your SWFL Law Enforcement, a group dedicated to supporting area police and deputies.
Kyle William, event organizer, said the community has become tired of the shootings and negative publicity police were getting in the aftermath of the shootings in Ferguson, Mo., and wanted to do something about it.
“We got tired of the ‘Hands up, Don’t shoot’ nonsense and we put people together and got the word out,” William said. “There are always a few bad apples, but we want to support the police and bring out the truth.”
More than 80 supporters came out for an early session sponsored by the Elks, which William said was more like a pep rally for the real event that occurred later in the afternoon. Among those in attendence were Cape Coral Council-member and retired Chicago police officer John Carioscia.
William said he expected more than 200 during the rush hour rally. Things started slow at 4 p.m., but gradually picked up steam as time went on.
Nearly everyone on the corner carried a hand-made sign, with many of them receiving horn honks as requested when drivers passed by.
Karin Evans held a sign that read “Cops Rock,” not to be confused with the musical TV show that came out in the early ’90s.
“I want to show suooprt to law enforcement. I want them to know we are here and we do care about them,” Evans said as horns blared. “I want to make sure our voices are heard as loud as they are on the other side.”
On the other side of Del Prado, Joe Lentini waved his sign along with the American flag.
“Law enforcement has been shot at in too many cities and killed. This is not right,” Lentini said. “When people need somebody, they call 911, not Al Sharpton. He can’t do anything.”
Just behind Lentini was Joseph Zalensky, a nine-year member of the Cape Coral Police Department, whose car was parked just beyond the demonstration. He said he was flattered by the show of support.
“This is an overall support for police nationwide who feel they’re getting attacked by forces they’re striving to protect every day,” Zalensky said. ” As police officers we don’t get to see the taxpayers’ side of the populous. Sometimes we’re exposed to the darker side of the society. It’s wonderful to see people take time out to demonstrate their support.”