A group of volunteers in Tampa Bay, Florida, banded together to paint the nation’s first “Back the Blue” street mural over the weekend.
The massive message stretches across the street in front of the Tampa Police Department. The mural took over four hours to paint with the help of more than 40 people, many of whom jumped in to assist as they happened to walk by.
'BACK THE BLUE' MURAL: Volunteers painted a mural in front of Tampa Police Department headquarters over the weekend so officers could be greeted this morning with a message of support. STORY: https://t.co/dnOQSJ4Tc6 pic.twitter.com/hiJqTCWrUG— FOX 13 Tampa Bay (@FOX13News) August 3, 2020
“This is a very visible, very big statement that says we are here," said organizer Kelli Campbell of Back the Blue Florida. "There are many of us. We care about you. We care about you going out every day putting your life on the line for us.”
Team South Florida, another pro-law enforcement charity behind the effort, said it was “truly amazing when the silent majority is fed up and decides to speak up.”
Although the groups applied for a permit before taking to the street, they received criticism for beginning work before receiving approval.
"Any tribute to honor their service is welcome,” said Tampa Mayor Jane Castor said in a statement. “It’s unfortunate they didn’t see the permitting process through so that our community could participate in showing their appreciation for the brave men and women that service our residents every day.”
Both the mayor and the city ultimately approved the request, allowing the effort to move forward.
All over America, citizens are pushing back on attacks on law enforcement and the social justice revolution underway. On Saturday, more than 500 patriots gathered for a “Back the Blue” rally in Illinois to voice their concerns over the national rhetoric against policemen and women. Another pro-police rally in Rochester over the weekend drew thousands.
Last month, a pro-life supporter painted “Baby Lives Matter” on a street in front of a Planned Parenthood clinic in Salt Lake City.
BABY LIVES MATTER MURAL pic.twitter.com/owqjQxQ1qL— Tayler Hansen (@TaylerUSA) July 17, 2020
It seems Americans are finally waking up and taking action — and not a moment too soon.