LAPD Chief Moore Bans Most Displays of `Thin Blue Line' Flag


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LOS ANGELES (CNS) - Los Angeles Police Chief Michel Moore has issued a ban forbidding department personnel from sporting the "thin blue line" patch on their uniforms and similar bumper stickers on police vehicles, it was reported Saturday.

Moore also ordered the "thin blue line" flag to be removed from police station lobbies this month, according to the Los Angeles Times.

The flag in question depicts a black-and-white U.S. flag with a single blue stripe in the middle.

The phrase "thin blue line" has long been a divisive one in American society between those who see it as a simple show of support for law enforcement and those who view it as an excuse for police abuse of authority. The phrase refers to police as the "line" that separates order and public safety from lawlessness.

"It's unfortunate that extremist groups have hijacked the use of the `Thin Blue Line Flag' to symbolize their undemocratic, racist, and bigoted views," Moore wrote in a department-wide email, The Times reported. "Flags serve as powerful symbols with specific meanings," he continued.

The newspaper reported that officers are still allowed to display the flag in their personal work spaces, lockers and personal vehicles.

The move was drawing criticism from some defenders of the flag.

"I love seeing our LAPD in the national news. Except this time for the most embarrassing reason. Calling Chief Michael Moore weak for caving to the communist Mayor. Grow a spine, support the troops and law and order," retired LAPD homicide detective Sal LaBarbera tweeted.

The LAPD is facing scrutiny over a trio of use-of-force incidents involving officers that left three suspects dead in the first three days of the new year.

Moore's five-year term as chief ends in June, but he has requested reappointment for a second term, writing in a letter to the Board of Police Commissioners in December that there remains "more work to be done" and he has a "strong desire" to continue to leading the department.

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