NEW YORK (AP) – Rocker Jon Bon Jovi donned a New York Police Department T-shirt on stage. Well-wishers delivered home-baked cookies by the hundreds to police in Cincinnati. In Mooresville, North Carolina, police and sheriff’s officers were treated by residents to a chili dinner.
At a time when many in the nation’s police community feel embattled, Americans in cities and towns across the country are making an effort to express support and gratitude.
“I’m showing a little solidarity for my brothers in the NYPD and all of those who protect and serve us every day,” Bon Jovi told a cheering crowd at his concert Monday in Red Bank, New Jersey.
The surge of support is linked to two distinct but overlapping developments.
The immediate catalyst was the execution-style killings of two New York City police officers as they sat in their patrol car in Brooklyn on Saturday. For many of those making appreciative gestures, there also was a desire to
counter the widespread protests – steeped with criticism of police – that followed grand jury decisions not to charge white officers for their roles in the deaths of unarmed black men Michael Brown in Ferguson, Missouri, and Eric Garner in New York.
A Cookies for Cops initiative, launched on Facebook earlier this month, now lists about 40 police departments and precincts where cookies have been delivered.
“This movement was born because of all the hate society is spreading towards the police profession,” says an explanation on the Facebook page. “It’s about sharing love, not hate.”
Becky Grizovic of Walton, Kentucky, who has been helping orchestrate the national cookie campaign, was joined by her husband, son and a neighbour in delivering cookies to Cincinnati police stations on Monday.
At the District 2 station house, Capt Jeffrey Butler said the gesture was especially appreciated in light of the deaths of the two officers in New York.