The Los Angeles Police Department banned the Thin Blue Line flag because “violent” extremist groups “hijacked” its use, and nearly 10,000 of the county’s own officers blasted the move as “political pandering.”
On Friday, LAPD Chief Michel Moore sent out an email announcing that the Thin Blue Line flag was effectively banned from being displayed in on police property all over the county, because of a complaint that it represented “extremist views.”
Moore told Fox News Digital that the department had received a “community complaint” about the flag hanging in a station’s lobby, with “the view that it symbolized support for violent extremist views, such as those represented by the Proud Boys and others.”
To be clear, the “thin blue line” represents the concept that the police, who wear blue uniforms, are the line keeps society from descending into violence and chaos.
Ironically, the term was popularized by LAPD Chief Bill Parker in the 1950’s, who frequently used it in speeches to refer to the department as the barrier between the law and social anarchy.
The flag itself was created 2014, as a symbol of the “Blue Lives Matter” movement, which emerged in the wake of the homicides of two NYPD officers, who were executed in their patrol car that December.
“It’s unfortunate that extremist groups have hijacked the use of the ‘Thin Blue Line flag’ to symbolize their undemocratic, racist, and bigoted views,” Moore remarked. a D.C. detective posted.
“I directed to have the item taken down from the public lobby. The U.S. flag should be proudly displayed in our lobbies whenever possible.”
“Memorials for our fallen are also authorized in all public spaces,” he continued, noting police departmetns should be “free of political ideology.”
The Board of directors for the Los Angeles Police Protective League, which represents nearly 10,000 members of the LAPD, released a statement criticizing Moore for the move.
“It is difficult to express the level of utter disgust and disappointment with Chief Moore’s politically pandering directive to remove Thin Blue Line flags and memorials for fallen officers from all public areas within our police stations,” the group wrote.
“This direction came as a result of complaints from anti-police, criminal apologists, and activists who hold too much sway over our city leaders and, unfortunately, our Chief.”
“This disrespectful and defeatist kowtowing by our department leadership to groups that praise the killing of police officers and outright call for violence against those of us in uniform,” they continued.
The Protective League said that they directly spoke to the Chief to express their outrage for unilaterally deciding to remove the “symbol of unity” from all LA area police departments.
“Let’s all remember what the Thin Blue Line flag is and what it represents: ‘The Thin Blue Line flag features a black and white image of the American flag with the horizontal stripe beneath the field of white stars on the black background,” the group pointed out.
“The stars represent the citizenry who stand for justice and order. The darkness represents chaos and anarchy, and to many, a memorial to the law enforcement officers who have perished in the line of duty,'” the statement concluded.
Former LAPD Homicide Detective Supervisor Sal LaBarbera, slammed Moore for the decision to ban the flag.
“Leadership getting bullied by a few. What’s next? the color of the uniform, the black and white police cars? No more “sir” and “ma’am”? Zero confidence in Chief!” He tweeted.
“If you’re a #LosAngeles resident, you should don every #ThinBlueLine shirt, hat, flag, sticker, and decal and set yourselves on the property of #LAPD headquarters until the admin finds a set of balls,” wrote another former officer.
“The biggest problem facing #lawenforcement today is failed #leadership,” a D.C. detective posted.
“Whether its bending to an angry mob that’s destroying a city or giving in to the political pressures from “activist”groups; the summer riots of 2020 proved that when you bend is when you break.”
“As long as law enforcement leaders keep kowtowing to the left, things are just going to continue to get worse,” someone else added.
“LAPD police officers should relocate to communities that want them!” Another suggested. “Why stay in a city that goes out of its way to not support you?”
Los Angeles isn’t the only area to bar the flag from being displayed on public property this week, the Springfield Township board in Montgomery County, PA, banned the the nationally recognized police symbol in a 5-2 vote.
“When you wave this flag, it is just like for African Americans the waving of a Confederate flag,” said Commissioner Eddie Graham.
At the beginning of 2021, University of Wisconsin-Madison’s police Chief Kristen Roman barred officers from displaying thin blue line imagery while on the job.
Roman said the flag had been “co-opted” to promote “hateful ideologies,” which “run counter” to the department’s “efforts to build trust” within their community.
“I am moved to enact specific measures to distance UWPD from the thin blue line imagery and the fear and mistrust that it currently evokes for too many in our community,” she wrote on January 15.
“Attempts I’ve made to point to distinctions and true meaning as well as denounce acts committed under the thin blue line banner nationally continue to fall short in ways I can’t simply ignore.”
“The balance has tipped, and we must consider the cost of clinging to a symbol that is undeniably and inextricably linked to actions and beliefs antithetical to UWPD’s values,” Roman concluded.