Baltimore pro-police crowd attends #WalkAway rally at city's war memorial

"The Left has become so extreme and relentless," the group's founder says

A crowd of people who support local police gathered for a rally Saturday at the Baltimore War Memorial.

The event, organized by a group called #WalkAway, was held as police departments in many communities across the nation deal with frequent rioting and protests – as well as efforts to slash their operational budgets or even disband their departments.

Images posted on social media showed many at the Baltimore event carrying America flags or wearing patriotic apparel as they listened to speakers and watched entertainers.

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The event was organized by group founder Brandon Straka. It was held just weeks after Maryland’s Republican governor, Larry Hogan, lashed out at Baltimore City Councilman Ryan Dorsey, a Democrat who has been critical of the city’s police union and suggested in a July 4 Twitter message that the city’s memorial to fallen city police officers be removed.

"The Left has become so extreme and relentless that it is now time for us to fight back!" Straka says on the organization's website.

"The Left has become so extreme and relentless that it is now time for us to fight back!"

— Brandon Straka, founder, #WalkAway campaign

Saturday’s speakers included Shannon Wright, a Republican who is running for mayor of Baltimore, a Democrat-led city of more than 600,000 residents that routinely ranks high in crime and poverty statistics.

Wright, 53, is vying to become the city’s first Republican mayor since Theodore McKeldin left office in 1967.

“I am the type of leader who recognizes family is the cornerstone of every community,” Wright said when she launched her general-election campaign in June, according to The Baltimore Sun.

Wright will face City Council President Brandon Scott, who defeated former Mayor Sheila Dixon and current Mayor Bernard “Jack” Young, to win the local Democratic Party’s mayoral nomination.

Young, 66, had taken office in April 2019 after his predecessor, former Mayor Catherine Pugh, took a long leave of absence and later resigned, amid health problems and accusations of involvement in a book-sales scandal.

In February, Pugh received a three-year prison sentence after taking a plea deal on charges of conspiracy and tax evasion.

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Saturday’s pro-police crowd also heard from Tim Fazenbaker, founder of FreeandFairElection.org, and political activists Chris Anderson, Jovani Patterson and Eugene Boikai.

Singer Joy Villa – who drew attention in January for wearing a pro-Trump dress to the Grammy Awards event -- performed for the crowd. She wore the dress to Saturday’s event as well.