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Back the Blue Ride and Rally in Wayland

Back the Blue is a organization of pro-Trump supporters who back the local law enforcement. Their goal is to highlight the positive efforts law enforcement makes in the community. PHOTOS BY JASMINE WILLIS

By Jasmine Willis

WAYLAND — With tensions rising on both sides in this country people are gathering for peaceful protests all over the nation.

The Back the Blue Movement has picked up speed in recent months. This movement centers around highlighting the efforts of law enforcement.

“Back the Blue” is an ACT for America activism campaign focused on building community support for local police officers. Florida Att. General Ashley Moody founded the Back the Blue campaign to forge positive relationships between local law enforcement and communities.

On May 16 a local Back the Blue Rally formed at Victory Park in Wayland. Back the Blue Ride and Rally was organized by Matt Fritz. He took a group through Wayland, Dansville, Perkinsville and Cohocton. Back the Blue merchandise was available for purchase at the event. Several members of the communities were at the rally to show support for local law enforcement.

Lewis County Sheriff Mike Carpinelli guest speaker at Back the Blue Rally. PHOTOS BY JASMINE WILLIS

Republican Lewis County Sheriff Mike Carpinelli was the guest speaker at the event and showed his support. He is running for governor in 2022. Carpinelli has more than 35 years of experience in law enforcement including nine years as Lewis County Sheriff. He spent 14 years in the Rochester Police Department.

“My name is Sheriff Mike Carpinelli. I am from Lewis County NY. I started out my career in down state New York as a police officer in Kingston. My family came from Commack, Long Island. Several members of my family along with myself served in the United States Military. I came back and went to community college. I became a police officer in Kingston. I served seven years there before transferring to the city of Rochester. I had a great career there. I enjoyed it there very much. From there I retired in 2006,” he said. “Now I didn’t want to retire at first. I loved the job a lot. I really did. A gift from God came to me and my wife, and that is my daughter. I was 42 years old and my wife was 39. I said to myself that you got to relax a little bit in life.You have to make priorities. I moved even further upstate to Lewis County. The best four-wheeling, hunting, fishing, anything around. I found a great community of people.”

“After only four months of being there, and raising my daughter the sheriff’s department recruited me. I asked the most important person in my life what to do, and my wife told me to do it. I thank her for that. I started working part-time for Lewis County Sheriff’s Office. I did that for six years. At the end of that my old boss was going to retire and leave. People in the community and that agency asked me to run for sheriff of that county. I had no idea what politics was about or running for office back then,” Carpinelli said. “Being a police officer. Being a citizen of the United States. Taking an oath as a police officer and in the military. Learning what it was to be sheriff of a county. I was very humbled. The oath you take to protect and serve a community. The oath you take from the Constitution of the United States. This opened my eyes even more.”

The Donald Trump Flag stood out in the Back the Blue Rally. PHOTOS BY JASMINE WILLIS

Carpinelli said he appreciated the community to bring him in and trust him when he was an outsider.

“I led the men, women, and children in that community. I am now in my third term. What bothered me is time went on and watching a ridiculous tyrant and one side of politics try to governor us all. I didn’t like him telling us we didn’t have a voice as conservatives. You don’t know what’s good for you. We are going to tell you how things are going to be. No, you’re not. Since I know what it is like to fight for the community as a sheriff. I know what it is like to fight as a governor for the people of the state of New York,” he said. “I am going out to everybody across this state to let you know who I am and what I stand for. Our state as you all know is a wreck. But it is our state. It is your state. Not his. Not the politicians that are sitting there now. They have proven that to us.”

Carpinelli made a stand for right to bear arms and highlighted the growing concerns about oppression in this over yearlong pandemic.

“They start telling you when you can have your firearms and when you can’t. They start telling you when you can breathe and when you can’t breathe by putting the mask on. When they tell you, you are going to get vaccinated when you are not going to get vaccinated. When they tell people when you are going to end like and when you are not going to end life. We are tired of that. You have the right to make those choices. You have the responsibility to stand up back against your government,” he said.”I am the guy that is going to lead that charge for you. I am not afraid to do that. I stand by my constitution. I stand by my God. I stand behind the people. What we need today is faith again. Have faith in the best system in the world. We vote for our candidates. We don’t get told who they are. We don’t get ordered who they are. We have to remember that. We have to bring integrity back to voting. It can be done. Don’t let what happened discourage you. Ask the questions. Take a stand against it.”

Many riders had the Back the Blue Line flags. PHOTOS BY JASMINE WILLIS

Carpinelli said he wants to work for people who believe in God, country, honor, integrity, and the preservation of life for the future. He wants to fight for the youth in our country and give them solid leadership.

“As a solider we don’t retreat. We fight. This guy is staying to fight for all of you. I am not retreating. I believe a whole lot of citizens are not retreating from the state of New York. I know you want it back. We are going to bring back New York State. We are going to bring it back to a place of respect and honor. What I see here is a group of all people. What I see is youth. The youth need something to believe in. If we don’t have them behind us, they won’t have anything in front of them. It is up to us to take that fight for them. Show who we are as parents, patriots, citizens, and New Yorkers,” he said.

Some even detailed their own vehicles to Back the Blue. PHOTOS BY JASMINE WILLIS

Carpinelli said the only thing he is promising in this campaign is a fair fight. He believes in the goodness of the people in this state.

“The reason we are here today is to Back the Blue. The governor has not done that. Unfortunately, he uses one uniform as his private army. Those men and women deserve a lot more respect than what he gives them. The rest of the men and women in this state that wear the uniform deserve much more respect too. They are not getting it from the media or the politicians. They are going to get it from us. We just had National Police Week. This has been one hell of a bad year for police and their families. They lost their loved ones who didn’t have a mean bone in their bodies. They didn’t have any prejudice in their system,” he said. “You have been told, dictated, and lied too that they have. Those same people pick up the telephone and call us when they want help. Let us take a moment to remember all of our brothers and sisters in uniform that have fallen this year and in the past. I also want to salute every veteran who knows what it stands for and what it takes to serve this country.”


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