TIMESLEDGER |12 QNS.COM | JUNE 26-JULY 2, 2020
in Middle Village to
show NYPD support
BY DEAN MOSES
On June 22, hundreds of demonstrators gathered in the Juniper
Valley Park’s basketball court located on 80th Street and
Juniper Boulevard North to march through Middle Village
in support of the NYPD.
Over the last several weeks, thousands of people all over the
world have protested against police brutality after the killing of
George Floyd, demanding both justice and police defunding. There
are those, however, who are lending their support to the NYPD.
At 6:30 p.m. on June 22, NYPD backers congregated on the sundrenched
concrete clutching homemade signs and brandishing
American flags. While many attendees practiced social distancing
by wearing face coverings and using hand sanitizer, there were
also many who refused masks when offered and even berated others
for wearing theirs.
Before the event commenced, organizer Phil Wong, who is also
the president of Community Education Council for school district
24, explained his reason for the public display.
“I feel that the looters, who I saw in Queens Center Mall breaking
windows, had nothing to do with Justice for George Floyd. The
looters seem to exploit this topic. They are here to disrupt. They are
here to start chaos, and they are here to start their own revolution,”
he said. “And they know how to do it. You get rid of law and order
and then they are in charge, they will say what is legal and what is
The Queens Center Mall was not looted, according to the commanding
officer of the 110th Precinct. On June 1, there were reports
of a possible looting, which caused the mall to be boarded up
with plywood and have an increase police presence.
At 7 p.m. the rally, led by a police escort, took to the streets of
Middle Village. Chants, most of which were led by Charlie Vavruska,
such as, “How do you spell hero? NYPD!” and “Blue Lives Matter!”
echoed throughout the residential community.
Former Assistant District Attorney Jim Quinn, who was kicked
off the ballot for the Queens borough president race for only filing
for the special election and not the primary election, joined Wong
and two other individuals in holding a banner that read, “We Support
The demonstrators only grew in numbers as locals left their
homes to join their neighbors. Their pro-NYPD stance drew the ire
of some onlookers who heckled marchers by yelling, “Black Lives
Matter!” and raising their fists skyward to symbolize their displeasure.
The exhibition commenced with a fleet of motorcyclists leading
those on foot back to Juniper Valley Park in the twilight.
Additional reporting by Angélica Acevedo.