'Sea of Blue' calls for silent support for police

'Sea of Blue' calls for silent support for police
Sea of Blue hosts 'silent support' for officers (Source: WOIO)
Supporters say the timing is not right for a public rally (Source: WOIO)
Supporters say the timing is not right for a public rally (Source: WOIO)
Sea of Blue calls on police supporters to deliver snacks, cards to departments (Source: WOIO)
Sea of Blue calls on police supporters to deliver snacks, cards to departments (Source: WOIO)
Law Enforcement Appreciation Day is January 9 (Source: WOIO)
Law Enforcement Appreciation Day is January 9 (Source: WOIO)

CLEVELAND, OH (WOIO) - A Cleveland social media group is trying to start a national movement to show support for local police officers.

The group, called Sea of Blue, has launched what they're calling silent support of local agencies.

The movement is in response to protests opposing a Cuyahoga County grand jury's decision not to indict two police officers involved in the 2014 deadly shooting of Tamir Rice.

The silent support is not a rally, and the group's organizer, MaryJo Graves, told Cleveland 19 that the group is not protesting anything.

"We are a silent support rally. Especially in these times now with the protests and everything we want to know we support them," Graves said. "We don't need to rally because we don't need to be in the national media, just social media can do so much."

Graves is a police dispatcher. Her older brother is a Cleveland police officer. Her house is proudly bedecked with signs that she supports the police.

She has a sign out in front, the front porch light is blue and a flag with a blue line flies proudly.

The goal of the online campaign is to "boost the morale" of police officers.

Graves said although the group did stage a large Sea of Blue rally in 2014, they do not plan to stage another one for several specific reasons.

"Safety is a concern right now. With the way the protests are going our men and women are working extra hours, longer hours. If I had another rally and it turned out as big as the last one then they had to worry about watching their backs, they have to watch our backs while worrying about their backs and I don't want to put anybody's life in danger," Graves said.

The campaign is asking for "silent blue support," which means to the group doing things like sending snacks and cards to local law enforcement agencies.

Despite social media posts to the contrary, the Cleveland Police Department could not confirm Monday that any of their districts have received any gifts or snacks at this point.

Graves said she thinks the silent majority support the police and the work that they do.

Cleveland 19 did see signs showing support of Cleveland Police officers in front of other houses in different neighborhoods, but no one would speak on camera about their support.

Graves said that does not discourage her.

"No, not at all, and we're not really protesting," said Graves. "This silent support, we're not protesting anything. We're not rallying anything, and I think people right now are afraid to show their support because they've got people - activists if you will - stating there will be civil unrest, so they don't want to risk their own safety."

Graves said Cleveland officers and other agencies are feeling "beat down." She said that she hopes that the regular person paying attention to what's going on keeps one thing in mind"

"There are obviously bad policemen out there, there are bad reporters, there are bad, obviously, politicians, council people, you cannot make everybody guilty by the action that they do and the majority of our law enforcement officers believe in the job they do, go out and they do it with all their heart."

Graves said she hopes the local movement catches on and spreads nationally, through at least this week and on January 9, which is Law Enforcement
Appreciation Day.

CLICK HERE for more information on Sea of Blue and how you can participate.

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