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Groups Rallying in Queens to Support NYPD After Officers' Deaths

By Ewa Kern-Jedrychowska | January 12, 2015 2:17pm
 The slain officers have been mourned across the city during rallies and vigils.
The slain officers have been mourned across the city during rallies and vigils.
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DNAinfo/Rosa Goldensohn

QUEENS — Groups of Queens residents and community leaders are planning to hold a series of pro-police rallies throughout the city amid a rash of violence against members of the NYPD and the recent clashes between the police unions and City Hall, the organizers said.

The first rally and press conference are scheduled to take place Tuesday in front of Queens Borough Hall at noon. The organizers said the rally will be non-partisan, and will gather members of Patrolmen's Benevolent Association, several veterans groups and civic and neighborhood associations, as well as elected officials and retired NYPD officers.

“The reason why I organized these rallies is because I believe in public safety for all New Yorkers,” said retired NYPD Captain and former City Council and State Senate candidate, Joe Concannon.

He came up with the idea several weeks ago after Dets. Rafael Ramos and Wenjian Liu were killed in Brooklyn by a gunman who vowed retaliation for the deaths of Michael Brown and Eric Garner.

The slain officers have been mourned across the city during rallies and vigils. The department has also received dozens of threats against police in recent weeks.

At the same time, the police unions have been furious with Mayor Bill de Blasio after his comments about the danger police officers posed to young black men, including his son, Dante, after a Staten Island grand jury voted not to indict an officer in the chokehold death of Eric Garner.

After the two officers were murdered, Patrolmen's Benevolent Association President Pat Lynch said that de Blasio had "blood on his hands."

The Tuesday rally, the organizers said "is a way for people to say that they value and support and thank the police for the great job that they are doing,” said Phil Orenstein, the president of the Queens Village Republican Club. "Public safety is the number one concern of the vast majority of New Yorkers."

He also called the rhetoric used by the mayor's office “dangerous.”

The organizers are also planning to hold several other rallies throughout the city, including at City Hall. The dates of those rallies have not yet been decided, they said.

Orenstein said he was not able to release the list of speakers and organizations expected to attend the rally to protect their safety, he said.

The rally will take place Tuesday, Jan. 13, at noon in front of Queens Borough Hall at 120-55 Queens Blvd. in Kew Gardens.