Los Angeles Police Chief Michel Moore said he ordered the removal after a member of public complained about a Thin Blue Line flag being displayed in the lobby of the Rampart Station. The person believed the symbol “signifies support of extremist views such as those espoused by the Proud Boys and others,” Moore said in an emailed statement to The Epoch Times.
“While I do not personally view the ‘Thin Blue Line Flag’ in the same manner as the community member and others, its display in our public lobbies can be divisive,” according to the police chief, who said he views the flag as marking “the honor, valor, dedication, and sacrifice of law enforcement to protect our communities.”
“Tragically, that view is not universally held and others have been able to persuade the public it symbolizes racist, bigoted and oppressive values,” the police chief said, alleging “it’s unfortunate that extremist groups have hijacked the use of the ‘Thin Blue Line Flag’ to symbolize their undemocratic, racist, and bigoted views.”
“Given our lobbies should be places that people feel safe, free of political ideology, and welcoming, it remains our long standing policy that only official items be displayed,” said Moore, who was appointed to his post by former Mayor Eric Garcetti, a Democrat, and confirmed by the Los Angeles City Council in 2018. “The US Flag should be proudly displayed in our lobbies whenever possible. Memorials for our fallen are also authorized in all public spaces.”
The term thin blue line refers to the idea that there’s a thin line between law and order and anarchy, according to former Los Angeles Police Chief Bill Parker. The flag is generally viewed as pro-police.
The Los Angeles Police Protective League, a union that represents officers, was among those expressing disappointment with Moore’s decision.
“We will display it proudly and will not let anyone distort the true meaning,” the league said in a statement, referring to the flag.
Moore said that officers are still allowed to display the flag in their workspaces, locker doors, and personal vehicles.
“I understand the frustration some may feel on this issue with an accompanying sense of a lack of support of their dedication on my part. I’m mindful of the Los Angeles Police Protective League’s (LAPPL) expressed disappointment in my directive,” Moore said. “My commitment to you is unwavering as I strive each day to protect and serve you as well as the people of Los Angeles.”
Some other jurisdictions and police organizations have barred the flag, including the Middletown Police Department in Connecticut.