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Cedar Rapids “Back the Blue” event postponed, police wouldn’t provide escort

CEDAR RAPIDS, Iowa (KWWL) -- An event supporting law enforcement, military, and first responders has been postponed until late July after being set to take place Saturday morning.

"Back the Blue, Back the Green Freedom March" was postponed until July 25th in Marion.

The Cedar Rapids Police Department released the following statement this morning, indicating possible issues with parking and that their policy is to not offer escorts for marches. Previous police presence at other protests was due to traffic control and safety, according to the department.

The City and Police Department respects the rights of individuals to exercise their First Amendment right of peaceful assembly.  The decision to have a march or not have a march is up to the event organizers.  The Police Department did have communications with the event organizers and recommended they use the sidewalks for their safety.  It is also my understanding that some organizers wanted to park on the grass at 1st Avenue and 1st Street West, however it is designated as no parking.  The Police Department doesn’t provide an escort for a march. During recent protests, officers have needed to assist with traffic control for the safety of protestors and motorists.  This information has been communicated to event organizers.

Cedar Rapids Police Department

The event's organizer, Michael Lambert, noted that event was not a "counter-protest against other recent protests against racism and police brutality."

"“We all, you know, know Black Lives Matter, and we all appreciate everything that they’re doing,” Lambert said when the event was announced. “It’s just, we want to get out and show our support to the local law enforcement. A lot of them don’t have voices right now, and especially across this country, some places are worse. So we just wanted to get together.”

KWWL has reached out to Lambert for an updated comment on the event's postponement and will update the story once we hear back.

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Taylor Vessel

Multimedia Reporter

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