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Police rally draws dozens of supporters

A small crowd gathered Monday evening, in support of local law enforcement.

GWINNETT COUNTY, Ga. — Protests and peaceful assemblies continue to pop up across metro Atlanta, and Monday evening in Buford was no exception. But this was not a Black Lives Matter rally. The people who gathered Monday evening were showing support for law enforcement.

“It is a community-organized pro police event,” Major Christopher Rafanelli, a 26-year veteran of the Gwinnett Co. Police Department, said. “The fact of the matter is, law enforcement is on trial. The whole profession is on trial, and the vocal part of it is overtaking the message. The fact of the matter is 99% of people out there love and support the police.”

Credit: WXIA

His wife, Renee, coordinated the event which encouraged people to line the streets outside the north precinct of the Gwinnett County Police Department at 5:30 and 6:30 p.m. to create a cheering section for the first responders during their evening shift change.

“Just a couple of weeks ago, they were frontline heroes in the COVID-19 pandemic, and we went through a drastic change very quickly,” Renee said. “These guys and these women are still fighting maybe harder now than ever, and it's really important for them to know there is support in this community for them, so they can continue strengthening our community.”

Credit: WXIA

She said the event was put together last minute, and the scattered storms likely contributed to the small crowd. But, even with only a few dozen people, Renee said she feels like her efforts are off to a good start. Monday was just the first of many similar events which will continue Wednesday evening at the east precinct in Dacula, she said.

“I think it went really well,” Renee said. “I think we're going to see a huge turnout Wednesday as the momentum is growing. We've actually had a lot of vendors that want to do sponsorships and bring out free food and free icees.”

Credit: WXIA

For more information about the upcoming events, CLICK HERE.

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