A disabled veteran and father to a police chief who was killed in the line of duty has been ordered by his homeowners’ association to take down a Thin Blue Line pro-police flag flying outside of his home since 2017.
Veteran Thomas DiSario’s son Steven, a police chief and father of seven children in Kirkersville, Ohio, was shot and killed while responding to a call in 2017, Fox News reported.
“He was answering a call in Kirkersville, and he was shot and murdered as he got there. So, he didn’t even know it was coming,” Thomas DiSario said.
After Steven DiSario’s death, his fellow police officers gifted the Thin Blue Line flag to his father.
“It’s been flying since the 12th of May 2017,” the elder DiSario said. “The only time it comes down [is] if it’s worn out and I buy a new one and put it back up.”
Now, Thomas DiSario’s HOA is demanding he remove the flag that has flown in honor of his son for nearly five years.
“The political sign in the form of a flag must be removed from your property,” a letter from the association to DiSario stated. “The flag on your pole is not a United States Flag. It is a political statement. Please remove the flag from your property.”
Despite the HOA’s demands, DiSario has continued to fly the flag.
“I spent 23 years in the military, and there’s no way shape or form that flag is being flown disrespectful at all,” he said. “It has a 4×6 American flag above it, and the police flag is a 3×5 below it. It is no bigger than the top flag.”
David Dye, president of the Omni Community Association Managers, said DiSario knew what he was getting into when he purchased a home in the community.
“They bought into the community with rules. He agreed by buying in this community that he can’t display what he wants to display,” Dye said, adding that the HOA received a complaint about the Thin Blue Line flag.
As of April 1, over 100 police officers have been shot in the line of duty in 2022 alone, according to the National Fraternal Order of Police (FOP).
“We are in the midst of a real crisis. The violence directed at law enforcement officers is unlike anything I’ve seen in my 36 years of law enforcement,” National FOP President Patrick Yoes said. “Last year was one of the most dangerous years for law enforcement, with more officers shot in the line of duty since the National Fraternal Order of Police began recording this data.”