Live from Music Row Thursday morning on The Tennessee Star Report with Michael Patrick Leahy – broadcast on Nashville’s Talk Radio 98.3 and 1510 WLAC weekdays from 5:00 a.m. to 8:00 a.m. – guest host Ben Cunningham welcomed Back the Badge Organizer Chase Matheson to the newsmakers line.
During the third hour, Matheson described his motivation for the upcoming Back the Badge rally this Sunday at 1 p.m. at Legislative Plaza in Nashville. As a son of a former police officer, he felt that is was important that law enforcement know they have the support of the community.
Cunningham: Chase Matheson is on the line with us. Chase thanks so much for joining us this morning. What is the event page on Facebook for this Back the Badge to support the police rally? Where should people go to get information?
Matheson: If you look at the events tab on Facebook and type in Back the Badge it should pop up right around the downtown Nashville area. It’s going to be Sunday at 1 p.m. at Legislative Plaza till about 2:30 p.m.
Cunningham: Great. You were telling us earlier about your history. What has motivated you to do this?
Matheson: After seeing what happened in Atlanta and worrying about a friend of mine that lives very close to where some of the blue flu is going around. I was speaking to my dad who was an officer in England many lifetimes ago. And after the riots in 1981, he said he didn’t sign up for that. And he quit the police force after a couple of years.
He had been in the police force for a couple of years and having a flaming couch thrown off a high rise at him and some of his fellow officers he decided he was going to look for a different career. He moved halfway around the world and came to America. So, I already knew from a few years ago when I lived in downtown how short we were on officers.
I remember calling the police one time for a fraud charge at a cash loan company I worked for. It took about three hours for an officer to show up. So Nashville is not in the position to lose any more officers. And I know after having watched the news for the past month that it would be hard to get any decent people to sign up to be an officer right now. I really appreciate decent cops. I think we need more of them. I felt the need to organize something so they could know the public had their back.
Cunningham: We know there are some demonstrators down there and have been down there for several days. Should people be concerned about running into those folks? What is your stance on that?
Matheson: I know you were talking about the NoTax4Nash. Kim Edwards and I have actually spoken. I don’t want to misrepresent, I don’t know if she’s friends with one of the gentlemen down there but they have a very open relationship where they can do some communicating and there is going to be absolutely no problems between us and them. We are there to show solidarity with the police.
They are there because they have some issues they want to bring to light. I’m not planning on interacting with anyone. I’ve heard rumors that there might be one or two of the rabble-rousers showing up. But again, I have a lot of faith in the people who are attending the rally. And I think that we’re all adult enough to ignore someone trying to scream things we don’t agree with. Unlike some people on the Left, we do our best to act like adults.
Cunningham: We’ve got to have the courage at some point to just take a public stand and come out and say we support the police. We support law enforcement. And it’s this whole ludicrous thing about disbanding the police. It’s so crazy! And yet the news media doesn’t push back on it.
Matheson: I saw a video that perfectly summarizes it. It was probably about a week ago. A group of protesters yelling at cars and throwing rocks at cars. They hit the wrong car. And the guy slammed on his breaks and turned around and the very first thing the protester yelled was someone call the police. (Laughter) At that point, the light bulb would have clicked. And I would have just said oh it makes sense now. And I would have gone home.
Cunningham: Chase, is there a way they can get in touch with you or message you?
Matheson: They can visit my website which is chasematheson.com. My email address is at the bottom. And I am very responsive. My phone number is also on there. Then you can find me on Facebook on the event page if you message the event host that will come directly to me and one of the other co-organizers and we will respond in a timely fashion.
Cunningham: That’s Matheson.
Matheson: Yes sir.
Baigert: Are you getting a good response from the police and their friends and extended family?
Matheson: I’m getting a fantastic response from almost everyone I’ve spoken to. I have kind of been warned that most active-duty police officers aren’t going to be able to be there. They have interdepartmental politics they have to play. They don’t want to give any of their departments a bad name so they won’t be in uniform. The family, ex-law enforcement, and just the regular average Joe has been very supportive.
Cunningham: When does it start?
Matheson: It starts at 1 p.m. on Sunday at Legislative Plaza. I’ve checked the weather and it’s looking like it’s going to be a beautiful day and might be a little warm. We’ll have a few covers set up for shade. Going to bring some water so that nobody overheats. We ask everyone to show up and join us.
Cunningham: Where should they come to be safe?
Matheson: It will be at the same place that the Open Tennessee rallies were. Right there across from the Capitol building at Legislative Plaza. We are asking everyone to come to stand with us. If you are at high risk due to the current pandemic you are more than welcome to the drive-thru.
Obviously it looks better for optics if we can have a lot of people on the street. We encourage social distancing. If you feel like you need to wear a mask, wear a mask. I personally won’t be wearing one because it makes it hard for me to breathe. We want everyone to be safe. We want to make sure that what has happened in Atlanta and Seattle doesn’t’ happen anywhere near the state we call home.
Cunningham: I think it’s important for these families of policemen and law enforcement to know there are people out there that do support them because they are getting so much negative publicity. It’s almost like President Trump has become this huge target. Police and law enforcement have become a huge target of the Left. And so few people are willing to stand up and say I support law enforcement and the structure and the civil society that they represent.
Matheson: A friend of mine was talking about and I use the term friend lightly how they could do just fine without the police. I know a lot of your listeners are pro-Second Amendment. And a lot of us could probably do ok without the police for a short period of time. But what happens when we have to go over to our grandmother’s house and protect them from a group of street thugs that want to move in? We will create a more dangerous environment trying to take care of things ourselves. Law and order allows our society to be civil.
Listen to the full third hour here:
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Tune in weekdays from 5:00 – 8:00 a.m. to the Tennessee Star Report with Michael Patrick Leahy on Talk Radio 98.3 FM WLAC 1510. Listen online at iHeart Radio.
Photo “Legislative Plaza” by Reading Tom. CC BY 2.0.