By Ashley Silver
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LOS ANGELES — The Los Angeles Police Department will no longer display the thin blue line flag inside station lobbies after a community member reportedly issued a complaint labeling the flag a representation of “extremist views.”
According to FOX 11 Los Angeles, the flag was originally placed over the front desk of the Rampart Station, but now only the U.S. flag will be displayed in station lobbies. LAPD Chief Michel Moore expressed that although he views the flag from a different perspective than the complainant does, he said the flag’s “display in our public lobbies can be divisive.”
“It’s unfortunate that extremist groups have hijacked the use of the thin blue line flag to symbolize their undemocratic, racist and bigoted views. Flags serve as powerful symbols with specific meanings. The thin blue line flag, to me, presents 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,” Moore said in a statement.
Despite the change, the chief said employees and staff are still allowed to have the thin blue line flag in their workspace, locker door and personal vehicles. Memorials for fallen officers will also be authorized in all public spaces, according to the report.
“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,” Moore’s statement continued.
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