Saturday, 19 September 2020 14:21

Richmond, Scotland bikers ride to 'Back the Blue'

Written by
Rate this item
(4 votes)
Rockingham Police Officer Lee Bailey, Laurinburg Police Officer Chris Jackson and Hamlet biker Jamie Watson discuss the route for the Back the Blue Ride spanning Richmond and Scotland counties. See more photos and video on the RO's Facebook page. Rockingham Police Officer Lee Bailey, Laurinburg Police Officer Chris Jackson and Hamlet biker Jamie Watson discuss the route for the Back the Blue Ride spanning Richmond and Scotland counties. See more photos and video on the RO's Facebook page. William R. Toler - Richmond Observer

ROCKINGHAM — More than 200 motorcycles and other vehicles left the parking lot of the Hide-A-Way Tavern Saturday afternoon to “Back the Blue.”


The ride was organized by Chris Jackson, a 23-year patrol veteran of the Laurinburg Police Department.

The idea came from his fiance Judy Smith, who wanted to do something to “Back the Blue,” Jackson said.

“Let’s do a little bike ride,” he said. “I’m thinking small — well, here we are today with 200-plus bikes and cars … I didn’t realize it was going to be this big.”

Riders came from Richmond and Scotland counties — and maybe a few others — along with support from the Laurinburg, Gibson, Cordova and East Rockingham fire departments and other first responders.

Local riders included Rockingham Police Officer Lee Bailey and County Commissioner Jimmy Capps.

But Capps wasn’t the only politician there.

Although he didn’t ride, Congressman Dan Bishop stopped by between engagements to offer words of support, using the PA system of a Scotland County Sheriff’s Office patrol car.

“There is nothing more important than what y’all are doing today, and this is amazing,” Bishop said.

Bishop then recounted the story of the night Henderson County Sheriff’s Deputy Ryan Hendrix was killed in the line of duty earlier this month.

“The murder of Ryan Hendrix is not an isolated story — 193 law enforcement officers have died in the line of duty in 2020,” he said, adding that it was the deadliest of the past 10 years.

The congressman went on to talk about “a fast-growing cancer in our civic spirit” — recent activism that has resulted in riots, looting and destruction.

In July, Bishop introduced the No RIOT Act in Congress, which would create a new federal penalty for assaulting a local, state or federal officer during a riot.

“Most Americans know that they (law enforcement) are the highest caliber of Americans,” Bishop said, “and they deserve our respect and support. I back the blue.”

When the bikers left the bar, they rode by the Richmond County Sheriff’s Office, Rockingham Police Department, Hamlet Police Department, Scotland County Sheriff’s Office and Laurinburg Police Department.

When the ride ended, Jackson said the proceeds from 50/50 raffle would be split between the departments in both counties to help with the Shop with a Cop program.