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It May Not Seem Like it, But Police Still Have Support
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It May Not Seem Like it, But Police Still Have Support

by Leah AnayaJanuary 16, 2021

Silverton, OR – Driving in a small town south of Portland this weekend, I saw a lovely sight: Along someone’s private fence were several thin blue line flags, lawn signs reading “Dear Officer: #WeNeedYou,” and a large handwritten sign that read “Tell my family I love them.”

The significance of that sign, as many know, is that it’s the last radio transmission of Toledo, Ohio Police Officer Anthony Dia before he was shot and killed on Independence Day last year.

The transmission was chilling and hit the hearts of people everywhere. Officer Dia was 26 years old and left behind a wife and two sons, ages eight and six.

Officer Dia was responding to a Home Depot parking lot, where he was called to check on an intoxicated male with empty beer cans on the hood of his car. The man, 57-year-old Edward Henry, shot Officer Dia one time, in the armpit.

Dia’s father, Tony “Younes” Dia said, “My son went to help this man. I don’t know if my son was walking on eggshells because of everything that’s been done. I just told him, ‘Do your job, come home to your family.’ Unfortunately, he didn’t come home to family. All this anti-police stuff … his death — it’s God telling us, ‘Whoa, calm down.'”

We saw signs displaying “Tell my family I love them” everywhere for the days and weeks after that.

While police have seemingly lost much support of late, it is clear that there are still those out there who are willing to stand up and support our officers, humanizing them in the process. This sign showed me that and gave me hope.

I hope it gives you some hope too, in a time where there isn’t much going around.

For most of 2020, law enforcement was hit harder than usual with an anti-police rhetoric echoed loudly by the far left in the media, politicians, and protesters on streets across America. No matter how much common sense dictated that the actions of one officer, which was widely denounced by police across the nation, did not represent the hearts of the whole, the narrative continued.

Police are bad. All Cops Are Bastards. ACAB. Pigs go home. Your family doesn’t love you. You should die. Defund the police.

These are the just a few of the phrases that were tossed out to our officers regularly, mostly in big cities, during protests, demonstrations, and riots.

The thin blue line was attacked and made into something that it’s not- a political symbol. Then it was further desecrated and called a symbol of white supremacy. Again, facts didn’t matter that the symbol was adopted in the 1970’s by the National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial Foundation to honor the men and women that died in the line of duty, sacrificing themselves for others they’ve never even met.

thin blue line flag

The silver lining of this sudden hatred by seemingly so many for the men and women of law enforcement simply because of the badge they donned was that many came out of the woodworks to support the police. They held rallies of their own with common phrases like back the blue, blue lives matter, support the police, defend the police. They waved flags, wore thin blue line t-shirts, thanked officers in whatever small ways they could during the restrictions put in place during the COVID-19 virus lockdowns.

Then the election happened, and the far right separated themselves from the groups that were holding the line for our officers while they held the line for the communities.

The far right, outraged like millions of others that they were denied a fair and free election, began to attack state capitols, demanding entry despite the lockdown restrictions, fighting police for not allowing them to enter a building they were not presently allowed to enter.

Choose a side, they said. Remember your oath, they said.

And then they attacked them. physically and publicly. It didn’t matter that most of the police DO know their oath and stand by it, and that those screaming at them were committing crimes and breaking the law.

Suddenly, the police, who were already hated by the far (and not-so-far) left were now shunned by the far right. And they were left to stand in the middle on their own.

Or so we thought: Once the incident in Washington DC took place on January 6, which we have now learned was a planned attack on our nation’s capitol that unfortunately was followed by some unknowing patriotic visitors there to protest an unfair election, the left came out of the woodworks, once again shouting the praises of police everywhere.

While the positive reflection on police by these politicians and their supporters is appreciated, it’s fallen largely on deaf ears, given the fact that literally just days before those same politicians and their supporters were still pushing bills of “reform,” which would negatively affect and even lead to possibly ending local and state policing as we know it.

Too little, too late, as they say.

Still, there must be some hope for a positive future where we can get our country back on track.

If one turns off the mainstream media and focuses on the police serving their local communities, then, generally speaking, all is right in their eyes.

If officers stay off of social media and miss the negativity of the loudest anti-police players out there, then, unless they unfortunately work in one of those larger or more violent cities, they will likely not feel so much of the hatred floating around.

And if an officer drives on along a highway in Silverton, Oregon, and I suspect many others like it all across the nation, they will see that there are still those out there that stand with law enforcement, who know that just like everyone else, our police are doing the best they can. They know they’re serving with honor and dignity, and that they want to get home to tell their families they love them.

About The Author
Leah Anaya
Leah Anaya
Leah Anaya is a medically retired police officer. She served for three years at the Oakland Police Department, and just under five at a department in Washington State. Before that, she was an intelligence analyst in the US Army. She is now a stay at home mom living with her husband, who is still serving as a police officer, and their three children. She also grew up as the daughter of a police officer in California. Leah is now a writer and Deputy Editor at Law Enforcement News Network as well as the Business Manager for Washington State FOP. She's a peer support advocate for The Wounded Blue and Serve and Protect. You can find her on social media @leahmsanaya or at www.leahanaya.com.
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