CLARK COUNTY, WA (KPTV) – A local sheriff is taking action against a controversial symbol meant to honor fallen officers and show solidarity with law enforcement.
The thin blue line flag is now removed from anything associated with the Clark County Sheriff’s Office. In a directive sent out late last week, Sheriff Chuck Atkins told all workers that fall under the Clark County Sheriff’s Office to remove all thin blue line materials from uniforms, cars, and office buildings.
The symbol is sometimes flown as a flag or attached as a sticker and has drawn attention in the past, like when it was flown next to confederate flags at a Unite the Right rally in Charlottesville in 2017.
Last year, Multnomah County agreed to pay a black employee $100,000 who says she was harassed for asking that a blue lives matter flag not be displayed in her office.
Atkins spoke about the decision to remove the symbol during a Juneteenth webinar with the NAACP, saying he didn’t want a sticker to be the reason people might be afraid to come to law enforcement for help.
“I'm not gonna let that little sticker be the divide among people in the community who will be afraid to come to us because of that,” Atkins said. “I will remove that sticker, we're still the same people. So, I hope the actions they see we take says we want to be part of the solution.”
Atkins admits he’s received flack from members of law enforcement for the decision, but says he still believes it’s the correct one. The sheriff’s office on Tuesday afternoon confirmed that all of the stickers had been removed.
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