Police Officer Kerrie Orozco was slain while on the job. She had put off taking her maternity leave until her premature baby could return home from the hospital. This was the most difficult decision of her life. Because her little one needed special care in the NICU, Orozco decided to keep working so she could have more time with her newborn when the little one was ready to return home – this is the kind of difficult decision hard-working Americans need to make when granting only a few measly weeks of maternity leave.
Just a few days before Orozco was ready to “take time off to look after” her newborn, she was gunned down during an extremely dangerous gang situation. The fatal bullet struck Orozco just above her bulletproof vest, killing her.
That’s why hundreds of people gathered on the streets of Omaha to mourn the loss of Officer Kerrie Orozco. But when the Westboro Baptist Church heard what happened, they were all too happy to show up in droves to protest the police officer’s funeral.
Because Orozco’s supporters heard that Westboro was coming to spread shame and hate over the late-officer and new mother’s name, about a hundred people, all wearing blue, came to support her – and block the Westboro protestors from ruining the ceremony.
At 9 am, a large group of pro-police supporters, including a slew of members of the Patriot Guard, showed up and unfurled large white sheets with blue lines across them. These sheets would serve one purpose – to shield the funeral procession from the Westboro Baptist protestors coming to spread their gospel.
Daughter of a retired Omaha police captain, Kate Kielion, was in charge of making the white sheets with blue stripes.
“Everybody just came together,” said Kielion, 33. “Everybody wanted to help. Our purpose was to hide the hate and show the love, and that’s what happened.”
Businesses donated materials. More than 1000 people showed up to participate. The Westboro protestors were defeated. And they slinked away like cowards.
The Kansas church wanted to picket the funeral. That’s why Josh Swafford got involved. He recruited some friends and joined the people holding up the white sheets to block the protestors at the brave police officer’s funeral.
“We’re all in this together,” said Swafford, 26, of Omaha. “Everyone should be able to grieve in peace.”
As part of the Patriot Guard, 25-year-old Lynette Nolan and her dad 59-year-old Joe Nolan arrived ready to fight back against Westboro.
“It’s just the right thing to do,” Lynette said, “I might not know Kerrie, but we are all human. Nobody deserves that.”
Because the sheets blocked them, the Westboro protestors fled the scene. They gave up on their mission from Jesus.
Kristina Scheib disagrees with their beliefs and is willing to fight back.
“That’s not what Jesus was about,” she said.
Westboro not only pickets funerals of police officers but those for the military or political figures as well.
What do you think about Westboro Baptist Church protesting police officer and military funerals?