A teen who runs the Blue Line Bears non-profit, making teddy bears out of uniform for children of fallen police officers, has faced a social media backlash–including death threats–for her activity.
Megan O’Grady founded the Blue Line Bears in 2016 to help support families of law enforcement stricken by grief. She decided to start her non-profit after five officers were ambushed and killed in the 2016 attack in Dallas, Texas.
She has helped over 200 families with over 700 bears.
However, at the height of the George Floyd Black Lives Matter protests–at times, devolving into full-blown rioting–Megan faced a tremendous social media backlash for a post defending law enforcement. People who she considered friends turned against her due to anti-police-brutality demonstrations.
According to Wink News, she said: “We got a bunch of really good comments and then they started being really, really negative.
“They were like ‘I hope that your dad got shot in the face,’ ‘I hope that he’s the next officer you have to make a bear for,’ ‘I hope your whole family gets killed’ — it was really bad.”
Megan went onto add “It all kind of came at once the wave of emotions and I just broke down in tears.”
“It’s scary being the child of a law enforcement officer in the environment in the United States right now because more now than ever my dad could leave the house and never come back.”
The teen said how some commenters wished for her father, who is in law enforcement, to lose his life following with one person wishing for him to be “shot in the face” during the backlash.
In a heartful Facebook post, the Blue Line Bears wrote:
Saying I am heartbroken is an understatement. 3 and a half years ago when I started Blue Line Bears tensions were high in the United States and police officers were under attack. I received hate comment after hate comment, most along the lines of “I hope your dad is the next Officer you make a bear for.” The hate comments never truly disappeared, but they became less frequent until these past couple of weeks. I posted something that was pro-police on my own personal social media and got attacked by my own classmates calling me all sorts of things. People who I saw as friends blocked me and called me toxic. I watched the increase in police injuries in New York and wondered if those were officers I’ve given a patch to. I scrolled through social media posts to be met with nothing but anti-police rants. My heart broke more and more everyday. Yesterday my family made the decision to get rid of the wrap on my Jeep, because it’s not safe for me to drive anymore. My heart shattered and I finally let myself cry over this (as seen in the deleted post from yesterday). The comments were positive in the beginning until we got hundreds of comments wanting my dad dead and saying they hope he gets shot in the face. I have stayed silent until now, but I’m not doing that anymore. These people can troll and hate on my dad and me, but all they’re doing is fueling the fire that will make Blue Line Bears more and more successful. I will not stand down.
Since the beginning of the recent Black Lives Matter protests, a smaller anti-cop movement under the acronym ACAB, standing for “all cops are b***ards,” has gained traction on social media with some ACAB tags being scrawled on public buildings and monuments in the aftermath of the recent rioting.