Hundreds brave the cold by Independence Mall to rally for police

PHILADELPHIA (WPVI) -- Hundreds of people braved the bitter temperatures for a rally near Philadelphia's Independence Hall in support of local law enforcement officers.

"We came out here to prove there are people supporting them," said Richard Pawlucy.

"I'm here because I know exactly from being a police wife what police officers go through every day," said Peggy Fierko.

Organizers say this was a non-partisan and they're not pointing fingers, just saying thank you to police.

The cold weather didn't stop them.

"If anything, it made me want to come out more. They are out here when it's cold and protect our neighborhoods as well," said Richard Junod.

The killings of two unarmed black men by white police officers in Missouri and New York last summer has sparked national protests including here in Philadelphia.

Most were peaceful but it caused disruptions as the first amendment played out in city streets.

To counter the anti-police sentiment, and in response to December's ambush of two New York City police officers, more pro-police rallies have been organized.

"Guided protests, protests however they want to be, wherever they want to be is fine, closing down major intersections of our city is ridiculous," said State Rep. Mike Vereb.

"I think we need to go back, tone down the rhetoric and go back to the basics and treat people with respect and honor our constitution," said Congressman Pat Meehan.

The Independence Hall Foundation sponsored the event and invited community and political leaders, including those who have protected the legacy of fallen Philadelphia police officer Daniel Faulkner.

Senator Pat Toomey is working on legislation that would help children of those killed in the line of duty to go to college.

"I think most Americans feel as I do, grateful and appreciative that there are police officers who keep them safe," said Senator Toomey.
Copyright © 2019 WPVI-TV. All Rights Reserved.