A CITY council has been debating the removal of Thin Blue Line flags from official police cars after citizens wrote in to call them “divisive.”
The Madeira City Council in Ohio discussed “numerous” complaints at a Thursday meeting of its Law and Safety Committee which gathered to discuss whether four cop cars decorated with the flag should be allowed to keep them under legislation describing what symbols are appropriate for use on city-owned vehicles.
The local politicians, however, did not yet vote on whether the flags should be removed the four cop cars decorated with the flag, local outlet WCPO reported.
“I’m not sure how we can defend keeping what has turned into a divisive symbol on our property. I don’t like spending money to remove it,” said councilmember Tom Henning.
Madeira, which has a population just under 10,000 people, would reportedly have to spend $2,000 to remove the vinyl wraps, the outlet reported.
Brian Mueller, another member of the city council, described himself as a “supporter” of the controversial flag – but also advised for neutrality.
"In my personal life I have no problem with the thin blue line symbol. I’d describe myself as a supporter of it. I just personally think, long term, a neutrality would be the best for the city,” Mueller said.
Madeira vice mayor Chris Hilberg, however, said he hopes the symbol will remain on the vehicles.
“This is no different than the military having their fighter squadrons on the side of the plane,” he said.
The Thin Blue Line flag emerged as Blue Lives Matter organized as a countermovement reacting to activists protesting systemic racism and police brutality.
Protesters have slammed Blue Lives Matter and its flag for equating a removable uniform to the persecution experienced by people born a certain race.
The flag has also been considered racist after it has been seen depicted next to confederate flags, including at the white supremacist rally Unite the Right in Charlottesville, Virginia, in 2017.
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