JENSEN BEACH, Fla. — Saturday morning, the Blue Knights Motorcycle group had a parade on US 1 in Jensen Beach from the Lazyboy Store to the Treasure Cost Mall where they held a 'Back the Blue' demonstration.
They say they want to show support for law enforcement while recognizing changes that need to be made including calling for monthly in-service training.
"Nobody hates bad cops more than good cops," said Blue Knight member Dan Depagnier a retired Manhattan robbery squad Sargent.
#BackTheBlue demonstration underway in front of the Treasure Coast Mall. @WPTV @FOX29WFLX @TaniaRogerswptv @JonShainman pic.twitter.com/T69QDjaCOf— T.A. Walker (@timallanwalker) June 20, 2020
In regard to the death of George Floyd, "That's not what we were taught and I'm going back to the '60s," said Depagnier.
"I think law enforcement is being treated horribly at this point. I think we are all in agreement that what happened in Minnesota [to George Floyd] was a horrible incident and it should have never happened. But the way the police are getting treated and injured and communities getting destroyed is also not a good idea," said Ed Forte, retired New York City police officer based out of Williamsburg's gang unit.
"I believe all cops shouldn't be treated the same as one bad apple. I think we should keep funding the police because we need them to protect all lives, black lives do matter but so do all lives. And without cops how will we protect everyone," said Ed's daughter Donna.
#BackTheBlue demonstration happening in front of the Treasure Coast Mall. @WPTV @FOX29WFLX @JonShainman @TaniaRogerswptv pic.twitter.com/Ktsh4rVSEG— T.A. Walker (@timallanwalker) June 20, 2020
The group is calling for communities to sit down and talk together.
"The best gauge of a community is your churches, bring in some pastors, sit down and talk to the police and let it be a two-way street no more one-way streets," said Depagnier.
The motorcycle group was joined by dozens of other demonstrators.
#BackTheBlue demonstration is scheduled to get underway at 10 a.m. in Jensen Beach. It will culminate at the Treasure Coast Mall. @WPTV @FOX29WFLX @JonShainman @TaniaRogerswptv pic.twitter.com/jzCZ6qiH7Q— T.A. Walker (@timallanwalker) June 20, 2020
"I just put it up on 'the Facebook' and we had 100 responses," said Depagnier.
There is a larger demonstration scheduled for Sunday in Stuart on the Veterans Memorial Bridge in Palm City.
"We will gather at Jock Leighton Park (Palm City Skate Park) on the west side of the bridge at 10:00 Sunday morning (Father’s Day) and make our way up the bridge. There is plenty of parking. Bring a cooler, lunch, snacks, etc if you want to stay after. Give a few minutes to the men and women who risk their lives every day to keep your family safe."