A Minnesota police chief has become the latest in a slew of first responders apologizing for honoring his own after a National Law Enforcement Appreciation Day post brought “unwarranted controversy.”
Though not the origin of Black Lives Matter, Minneapolis, Minnesota was certainly the epicenter of protests and riots backed by the movement that swept the nation in 2020 following the death of George Floyd while in police custody. As the city and surrounding areas advanced efforts to defund the police, the suburb of Golden Valley hired Virgil Green, a black officer formerly a chief outside Oklahoma City, Oklahoma to address concerns of racism as their new police chief.
On January 9, National Law Enforcement Appreciation Day, Green posted a message on the department’s Facebook page that included an image of the Thin Blue Line flag “intended to thank our police officers,” only to be met with backlash that left him removing the post and issuing an apology.
By Friday, he had released a statement that explained in part, “For many, the thin blue line flag has always represented a way to honor the commitment we make as first responders to protect our community.”
“It is disappointing that in recent years the flag’s positive intention has been tarnished with divisive undertones and actions,” he continued. “We do not want to promote these negative connotations.”
Though apologizing and kowtowing to the whims of the woke mob, Green’s statement went on offer something of a defense of the Thin Blue Line flag that suggested detractors are uninformed.
“I saw and read the comments from some community members, and I want you to know we value your thoughts regarding this important matter,” the chief said. “While I don’t want to go into detail about the purpose of the thin blue line flag, I encourage those interested to click the attached link to learn about the history of the flag and the intent of its creator.”
However, he further stated, “In the future, the Golden Valley Police Department will use images that do not bring unwarranted controversy between the police and the public.”
Though residents had rejected a ballot initiative to defund the police, politicians continued with their own progressive agendas and, as reported by the Star Tribune, Golden Valley Mayor Shep Harris had enlisted Greene Espel Law Firm to conduct an investigation probing the police department’s resistance to so-called “anti-racism efforts.”
The investigation prompted twelve officers to quit the force, leaving a department formerly with 31 members equipped with only 19. Scott Nadeau, a veteran police chief who had acted as interim police chief for Golden Valley, had been a contender for the leadership position and was endorsed by the officers but withdrew when the investigation was announced and alleged intimidation tactics were at play in the hiring process.
Nadeau also criticized the implementation of diversity, inclusion and equity measure and said the city’s process “wasn’t particularly helpful.”
Green’s apology comes as Los Angeles Police Department Chief Michel Moore has been accused of “politically pandering” after a complaint led to a department-wide decision to prohibit the display of the Thin Blue Line flag in any public area belonging to the LAPD, citing “the view that it symbolized support for violent extremist views, such as those represented by the Proud Boys and others.”
— Conservative News (@BIZPACReview) January 15, 2023
Similarly, a township outside Philadelphia, Pennsylvania voted last week to ban the display of the Thin Blue Line flag anywhere on township property or the person of employees. Springfield Township Commissioner Ed Graham argued, “When you wave this flag, it is just like, for African Americans, the waving of a Confederate flag.”
Meanwhile, the board of directors for the Los Angeles Police Protective League decried the department and its nearly 10,000 members in a statement that read, “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. 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.”
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