On Sunday, September 20, 2020, Fort Bragg residents gathered midday on Main Street to show their support for local law enforcement. Mendocino Coast resident Judy Valadao said residents “who support our first responders decided to get together and show our support.”
Valadao said participants felt compelled to organize the rally after a recent citizen complaint aimed at the Fort Bragg Police Department’s display of the thin blue line flag on their patrol vehicles. A press release issued by FBPD this week provided context as to why the vehicles displayed the flag:
The Thin Blue Line Flag is a memorial originally placed on the Fort Bragg patrol cars to honor fallen Deputy Ricky Del Fiorentino, the first officer killed in the line of duty within the community of Fort Bragg. The Thin Blue Line Flag was created to honor those who protect and serve, not those who abuse their power.
Valadao called the gathering a “rally” and said participants wanted to show “support for all first responders. Law Enforcement, Fire, EMT’s, Dispatchers and whoever else I may have left out.”
Valadao said, “there was about 75 people there so we had some across to the other side of the street so we didn’t break any rules. Everyone was real upbeat and lots of support (honking horns).”