COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) — The Dallas shooting that killed five officers has spurred an outpouring of support for police, not only in Texas but hundreds of miles away.
Around the country, people have showed up at local departments with flowers, sent social media messages or called to say thanks. They delivered coffee, pizzas, cakes and moments of solace for officers grieving after the deadliest day for U.S. law enforcement since the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks.
Two patrol cars serving as a memorial outside of Dallas police headquarters were adorned with flowers, signs and flags by some of the people pausing to pay their respects to the five officers killed and seven wounded.
John Fife, with his ball cap in hand, passed a red rose to an officer sitting in a vehicle guarding those headquarters. In another corner of the country, a Seattle officer accepted a matching flower from Jasen Frelot, one of several people from the faith community there who set out to show police support.
‘WE NEED THEM’
Officers also received roses in the Cleveland suburb of South Euclid, where they found single stems on their cruiser windshields Friday morning. The Rev. Carmen Cox Harwell, a Beachwood pastor and a former police chaplain, said she put flowers on Beachwood and South Euclid officers’ cars as a sign of gratitude.
“I just want them to know that they’re loved and they’re supported and we need them,” she told WOIO-TV.
STOPPED FOR THANKS
Still others simply stopped officers on the street to chat or offer hugs.
“It’s just been amazing. Our guys can’t go out this morning without getting stopped by people wanting to thank them,” Dustin Dwight, a spokesman for Louisiana State Police Troop L, told NOLA.comThe Times-Picayune on Friday.
In Chattanooga, Tennessee, officers were getting extra handshakes from strangers at a local concert Friday night.
“They always comfort and, I guess, wrap their arms around us, to protect us as well as we protect them,” Chattanooga Sgt. Tommy Meeks told WRCB-TV.
The Lower Merion Police Department, near Philadelphia, said its officers had heavy hearts but full bellies after a woman and her son delivered a stack of pizzas Friday. Another woman and her daughter on Saturday brought them coffee and doughnuts, a gesture reported by at least a handful of local police departments this weekend.
Others shared photos of police department tables covered with snacks, sodas, cookies and more.
‘ROUGH FEW DAYS’
In Ballwin, Missouri, where a suburban St. Louis policeman was shot and critically hurt during a Friday traffic stop, Andrew Kulha brought the investigators water. He told KMOV-TV he thought it had “been a rough few days to be an officer.”
The Dallas shooting occurred during a Thursday night protest over fatal police shootings of black men in Minnesota and Louisiana earlier in the week.