Amazing Property in Lakeville! 5707 Big Tree Rd
Did you wonder what that long parade of cars was, going through Lakeville, Avon, and Geneseo last weekend? Or see the protestors along the route in Geneseo?
A “Back the Blue” rally of cars driving through Livingston County last week drew attention by all who saw it, but also drew some controversy and protest about the dual focus and purpose of the rally, as well as the timing of the rally. Several of the protesters who were holding signs along the route said they see the Back the Blue rally held on the weekend of April 18 as both political and racist and noted that there were few African Americans participating in the rally which was held during the George Floyd-Derek Chauvin trial, in which a white police officer was at trial for causing the death of an African American, and the verdict was still pending, leading some onlookers to theorize the parade was timed to support police officer Derek Chauvin who was the focus of national attention that weekend. Some protesters to the rally were seen holding signs in Geneseo, but most who lined the route were supportive of the two causes of Back the Blue and pro-Trump.
The rally was well participated in with about 40 cars, and began in Lakeville, going through both Geneseo and Avon before returning to Lakeville. There was a pop-up market in Vincenzo’s Lakeville parking lot which was selling Back the Blue flags and paraphanalia, Trump 2024 flags, bumper stickers, and T-shirts, as well as anti-Cuomo and Bite Biden T-shirts. The rally had been advertised on Facebook, along with the note ““Thanks everyone for sharing,” “…hope to see some of you this Saturday, selling all kinds of Back The Blue , F-Cuomo, Biden Sucks and Trump 2024 merchandise….”
The Livingston County Sheriff announced two weeks before the rally that the Livingston County Sheriff would not be participating in the Back the Blue rally, other than for crowd control. That stance is required by law, since any agency receiving any kind of federal funding may not participate in an event that is political, as required by the federal Hatch Act. Geneseo Village Police also only did traffic control in the Village of Geneseo, but did not participate in the rally supporting police agencies itself.
Last summer, many of the Finger Lakes held boat parades and motorcycle rallies which had the dual purpose of promoting Donald Trump and “ Backing the Blue,” flying flags and signs for both. Last summer, Oswego County Sheriff Don Hilton came under fire for participating in a Back the Blue—Trump 2024 flotilla by participating in the Sheriff’s boat, flying a Trump flag. A complaint was made to the federal Office of Special Counsel, with a letter sent to the Oswego County Legislature, noting that Hilton was in violation of the Hatch Act which prohibits any agency receiving federal funding from “using their official authority or influence or use official agency resources to engage in political activity, including appearing in campaign parades or endorsing candidates for partisan political office.” However, even though the federal Office of Special Counsel maintained Hilton had violated the Hatch Act, they chose not to pursue the matter, other than to issue a warning.