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Unity event is really a pro-police, All Lives Matter Rally in Grand Rapids

June 29, 2020

A group known as Voice of the Badge, which has come to Grand Rapids City Commission meetings over the past 18 months, for the purpose of praising the GRPD and condemning those who have criticized the Grand Rapids Police Department. The most visible member of Voice of the Badge is Johnny Brann Sr., of Brann’s restaurants.

Now, Voice of the Badge is hosting a rally on Calder Plaza to show “support for law enforcement,” according to the Facebook event page.  However, for those who saw the story that WOODTV8 aired on Sunday, people would think the event was a unity rally. 

The channel 8 story is so awful on so many levels. The news reporter says early on that this unity rally is meant for “both sides to find common ground,” meaning those that want to hold the GRPD accountable and those that praise the police. The reality is that people who have been protesting in recent weeks will not be attending this event, since there is no space for them to do so and feel safe.

All one has to do is look at the Facebook event pages to see that this event has nothing to do with unity and everything to do with those who are pro-police, whether it is the page hosted by Tom Norton for Congress  or the Voice of the Badge Unity Event Page.

In fact, the text for the event was crafted by a candidate for the 3rd Congressional District, Tom Norton. The description for this event disparages those involved in Defund the GRPD. Here is a sample of what the Voice for the Badge event says:

While protesters swear at them, threaten them, and insult them, officers stand and protect their right to do so. And while some of the protesters turn into rioters and burn and loot cities, these officers are the ones attempting to protect the public.

The rest of the description is filled with falsehoods and pro-police propaganda.

Then there is the fact that the Facebook event is being hosted by Tom Norton for Congress. The WOODTV8 story said that the “unity rally” was not an event for candidate Tom Norton, but the Facebook event language says otherwise. The contact information for the Facebook event says Norton for Congress, with Norton’s phone number and his e-mail address.

Tom Norton is a zealous Trump supporter and embraces the same far right agenda that that Trump does. Norton’s Facebook page has a picture of him with Vice President Mike Pence and the content is nothing but slamming all things leftists. In one video, Norton appropriates the death of George Floyd and turns it into an opportunity to push an All Lives Matter message.

Don’t be fooled by the Voice of the Badge or their so-called unity rally. This event is nothing more than White Supremacy rally to push their pro-police, All Lives Matter propaganda. And shame on WOODTV8 for not only giving them free advertising, but for misinforming the West Michigan Community.

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