LAPD Chief Blasted by Own Officers for Ordering Removal of Thin Blue Line Flags from Police Stations

Thin Blue Line
Stephen Maturen/Getty Images

The head of the Los Angeles Police Department is facing vehement backlash from his own officers following his directive ordering police stations to remove thin blue line flags honoring fallen cops from all publicly accessible areas.

In internal e-mails obtained by Breitbart News, Chief Michel Moore said that “public lobbies should only contain official items” and that the display of thin blue line flags is “unnecessary for our mission.”

His messages were in response to a recent “community complaint” about the display of the  flag in the front lobby of the LAPD’s Olympic Station near MacArthur Park.  He said the complainants claimed that the flag symbolizes “violent extremist views” associated with the Proud Boys and other groups.

Moore added: “While I do not personally view the ‘Thin Blue Line Flag’ in the same manner as the community member and others, it’s [sic] display in our public lobbies can be divisive. Personnel having a ‘Thin Blue Line Flag’  in their workspace, locker door, or personal vehicle, etc. have not been prohibited. ”

“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,” he wrote.

Moore said the flag at the Olympic station has been removed following the complaint.

In this Aug. 26, 2020, file photo, Los Angeles Police Chief Michel Moore speaks during a news conference outside LAPD headquarters in Los Angeles. (Stefanie Dazio, File/AP)

The union representing rank-and-file LAPD officers is now pushing back against Moore’s directive. In an e-mail to members Thursday, the Los Angeles Police Protective League blasted the decision, calling it an act of political “pandering.”

“We vehemently oppose this disrespectful and defeatist kowtowing by our department leadership to groups that praise the killing of police officers and outright call for violence against those of us in uniform. We have directly expressed our outrage to the Chief,” the league’s board of directors said.

NEW YORK, NY - AUGUST 1: Protestors rally during a protest against police brutality at City Hall Park, August 1, 2016 in New York City. The protest was organized by Millions March NYC, who are calling on Mayor Bill de Blasio to fire NYPD Commissioner Bill Bratton and end 'broken windows policing.' The group is claiming they will stay in City Hall Park until their demands are met. (Photo by Drew Angerer/Getty Images)

Protestors rally during a protest against what they see as police brutality at City Hall Park, August 1, 2016, in New York City. (Drew Angerer/Getty Images)

“We call on Chief Moore to stand up for what is right, not cater to the police abolitionists, criminal apologists and other anti-public safety fringe groups and support our officers and the symbol that so honorably represents them.”

In an e-mail Friday, Moore responded directly to the League’s statement.

“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,” he wrote. “I’m mindful of the Los Angeles Police Protective League’s (LAPPL) expressed disappointment in my directive. My commitment to you is unwavering as I strive each day to protect and serve you as well as the people of Los Angeles.”

When reached for comment, an LAPD spokesman said he had no knowledge of Moore’s directive.

The thin blue line flag has become a universal symbol honoring fallen law enforcement personnel. Anti-police activists have attempted to smear it as a hate symbol and have sought to ban its display not only in police stations, but in schools and even on private property.

As Breitbart News reported, Republican lawmakers in Ohio recently moved to protect homeowners who fly the thin blue line flag on their property from the objections of landlords, homeowners’ associations, and mobile home park operators.

The football team at  Saugus High School in Santa Clarita, California, was recently told they will no longer be allowed to carry a  thin blue line flag beside the U.S. flag when they take the field, with the district’s superintendent claiming the flag was “divisive.”

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