TUCSON, Ariz. (KOLD News 13) - Hundreds of people showed up at a Tucson Police Department substation Saturday to show their support for law enforcement.
The rally came as the controversy surrounding the group’s leader heats up.
Tucson Back the Blue applied for an received a permit to paint a thin blue line outside of the TPD headquarters on Stone Avenue this Saturday. The group also planned to host a rally at the substation.
Tucson Mayor Regina Romero demanded the painting permit be revoked and called Timothy Cesolini, president of Tucson Back the Blue, a white supremacists.
Romero later doubled down on the accusations.
“I am simply taking a stand against an individual that has explicitly made racist, white supremacist statements on social media,” Romero said Friday, one day after the permit was made public.
The permit was revoked by the city, but Cesolini and others in the group went ahead with their rally at the substation.
Cesolini has told KOLD News 13 Romero’s accusations are unfounded and the sole purpose of Saturday’s event was to support the TPD.
“I’m in total shock,” Cesolini said. “I support the police; that’s why this was done. There was no other motivation, there was no political gain. I have brothers that are officers … we shouldn’t be picking sides.”