Off-duty officer brings AR-15 to ‘March for our Lives’ rally

A photo that has now gone viral shows an off-duty officer holding an AR-15 at a "March for Our Lives" rally in Greensburg, Pennsylvania.

The anti-gun violence event took place this weekend and, since then, the images of the officer have gotten a lot of attention.

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The viral photo shows Martin Palla standing on a sidewalk with an AR-15 slung over his shoulder.

Palla, with his dog, stood across the street from hundreds of people who were taking part in the “March for Our Lives” rally in Greensburg on Friday. He was in plainclothes, but was quickly called out for being a police officer with Rostraver Township.

His presence with the weapon created a firestorm on social media, and some people questioned his motives.

The reaction created by the incident is one that the Rostraver Police Department is not taking lightly.

"We are being inundated with phone calls and it's utilizing most of our resources," Police Chief Greg Resetar told WPXI.

“This does not imply that the department approved of this protest, and certainly does not reflect the opinion of individual officers and, in my capacity of police chief, I cannot condone the actions of Mr. Palla,” Resetar said.

On Friday, Palla, identified as the sole counterprotester at the march, told that his gun was unloaded.

"I believe that both sides of this debate have a common goal, and that's the safety of our students," Palla told "I don't know if there's an overall solution. You can't legislate crazy."

By law, according to Resetar, every person in Pennsylvania is entitled to open carry.

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