‘Back The Blue’ rally in Kennewick has been canceled over threats, organizer says
KENNEWICK, Wash. — A community-led rally planned outside the Kennewick Police Department to show support for law enforcement officers has been canceled over safety concerns.
Michelle Mercer, organizer of the “Back The Blue” rally that was scheduled for Saturday at noon, said there were some threats made toward the event and people attending that she deemed credible.
Mercer said she does not know where the threats came from, or whether they were made by an individual or several people. A counter-protest had been planned at the same time as the rally.
Police said they’re aware of potentially threatening statements made on social media toward the event, but the statements did not target specific people. Police said it’s possible that there were other threats they were not made aware of.
“Our first priority is ensuring everyone’s safety,” Mercer wrote in a social media post. “We believe we can still get our message of appreciation and gratitude out to the Kennewick Police Department. Please send an email to the City Council Members and County Commissioner in a show of support. Thank you to everyone who has supported this event and the KPD.”
Mercer told KAPP-KVEW the event was meant to boost morale for officers rather than create conflict and add more stress to their day.
She said she could be open to revisiting the idea of planning another Back The Blue rally at a later date.
EDITOR’S NOTE: This article has been updated to include information from the Kennewick Police Department.