The Los Angeles Police Department (LAPD) banned the Thin Blue Line flag from police department buildings this week after concerns over “extremism.”
LAPD Chief Michel Moore confirmed the decision in a statement sent to Fox News.
“Yesterday, we received a community complaint of the presence of a Blue Line Flag” with “the view that it symbolized support for violent extremist views, such as those represented by the Proud Boys and others,” Moore wrote.
“I directed to have the item taken down from the public lobby. The U.S. flag should be proudly displayed in our lobbies whenever possible. Memorials for our fallen are also authorized in all public spaces,” he added.
The statement clarified that the Thin Blue Line flag could be displayed in personal workspaces, such as a locker or personal vehicle.
The Thin Blue Line flag was considered extremist due to complaints that it was connected with the Proud Boys and similar groups.
The Los Angeles Police Protective League, representing over 9,900 officers in 1922, explained that, “The blue line represents the men and women of law enforcement who stand in the gap between the lawless and the innocent.”
In an article on the flag’s meaning posted to the National Police Association’s website, Chief Joel Shults also defined the importance of the symbol to law enforcement.
“The beauty of the thin blue line and the flag in which it is embedded should stand as a unifying force among people of good faith and peaceful intention,” he wrote. “It must not be relegated to the ever-increasing waste bin of political correctness where the slightest offense to any tender soul defines hate speech.”
The Board of directors for the Los Angeles Police Protective League also released a statement criticizing Moore’s decision.
“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,” the statement read.
“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,” the Board of directors added.
Moore, who was appointed by the city’s former Democratic Mayor Eric Garcetti, has been criticized over changes opponents claim are politically motivated.
Last year, Moore was also criticized for cutting the budget of the Robbery-Homicide Division. The division has dropped from 100 detectives before Moore’s role to just 10.
Moore was also blasted by some officers over taking a knee with Black Lives Matter activists, according to a detective speaking with the Washington Examiner.