Blue Lives Matter is a countermovement in the United States advocating that those who are prosecuted and convicted of killing law enforcement officers should be sentenced under hate crime statutes. It was started in response to Black Lives Matter after the homicides of NYPD officers Rafael Ramos and Wenjian Liu in Brooklyn, New York on December 20, 2014.
Although criticized by the ACLU and others, the movement paved the way for a state law in Louisiana that made it a hate crime to target police officers, firefighters, and emergency medical service personnel. This law has been heavily criticized for extending hate crime law protections outside of characteristics such as race, sexual orientation, or gender identity, to include career choice. Also, evidence that violence against police officers is decreasing has been used to call into question the motivations for the law.
Cincinnati police raise ‘Blue Lives Matter’ flag outside justice center
Police officers in Cincinnati, Ohio, stoked tensions with groups protesting against police brutality by raising a provocative flag that represents cops outside a enforcement building in situ of the celebs and stripes.
The so-called “Blue Lives Matter” flag may be a black-and-white US flag with a blue stripe replacing one white stripe. Thin Blue Line USA, the group that sells the flags, says the skinny blue line represents officers within the line of duty and therefore the black represents fallen officers.
Pictures of the flag flying outside an area justice complex went viral, stoking anger nationwide among people protesting the death in Minneapolis of George Floyd, a 46-year-old African American man, the newest case to fuel the Black Lives Matter movement against police brutality.
Cincinnati, has like many other major cities, been the setting for protest over the last three nights which has seen protesters and officers injured.
On Sunday, the Hamilton county sheriff, Jim Neil, said on Twitter the American flag that usually flies outside Cincinnatti’s county justice center “was stolen during the vandalism of the Justice Center. The Thin Blue Line was raised by our deputies to honor the CPD Officer who was shot. The flag has been removed and we will replace it with the American Flag in the morning.”
Local media reported that the officer in question had been struck on his helmet by a bullet, but was not injured.
Chris Seelbach, chair of the Cincinnati city council, tweeted that the raising of the flag would make unrest worse in the city. “[It] should have been replaced with American flag immediately. Not replaced with a politically charged blue lives matter flag when thousands are protesting in our streets because #BlackLivesMatter. Sheriff Neil has only made things worse. Again.”
The flag has been a previous center of controversy.
In Portland, Oregon, last year, a government employee won $100,000 in a settlement after she alleged she was bullied by fellow employees who displayed the flag in her office. As the Associated Press reported then, in her lawsuit against Multnomah county, Karimah Guion-Pledgure said the flag demeaned the Black Lives Matter movement.
Blue Lives Matter Trend Gets Attacked On Twitter
— nglz (@Nigglez) June 3, 2020
— tasi (@whoistasi) June 3, 2020
— C. BLM (@N0T4L) June 3, 2020
— Fareeha (@gulabjamon) June 3, 2020
— san🍐 (@santi_tizer) June 3, 2020
— カヂ (@MRSKADIKANEKI) June 3, 2020
— 🔞 🎀 𝒱𝐼𝐵𝐸 𝒞𝐻𝐸𝒞𝒦 🎀🔞 (@Sherlockipot) June 3, 2020
— rose 🍒☁️🦖 (@ACasualRose_) June 3, 2020