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San Francisco’s police chief is banning officers from wearing “thin blue line” face masks because the pro-cops pattern may be divisive.
Instead officers in the very politically correct city will be required to wear neutral face coverings rather than the American flag mask distributed by the local police union with a blue stripe that has become connected to the Blue Lives Matter movement.
Homeless activists or bystanders at a May Day protest at a vacant property in the city may have taken offense to the masks, prompting Chief Bill Scott to issue the directive to tamp down the controversy.
Far-left local politicians also denounced the face masks. With apparent historical implications, one official claimed the facial covering “looks more like something you see below the Mason Dixon Line.”
Last Friday, Chief Scott banned the masks in question via an email to the entire force because the “symbolism on some of our officers’ face masks may be perceived as divisive or disrespectful.”
The ban will take effect as soon as rank-and-file cops get replacement gear.
In a statement obtained by Fox News, Scott further explained his decision:
“The San Francisco Police Department stands for safety with respect for all, and in consideration of concerns some community members have expressed that ‘thin blue line’ symbolism on some of our officers’ face masks may be perceived as divisive or disrespectful, we are taking steps with our officers and the Police Officers Association to provide alternative, neutral personal protective equipment. In the midst of a global pandemic that has seen far too many first responders lose their lives, across the nation and around the world, it’s important to remember that the masks our officers wear were meant to honor all who make the ultimate sacrifice for the people we serve.”
Scott acknowledged that the symbol was initially created decades ago as a way to honor officers killed in the line of duty.
More recently, the Blue Lives Matter movement became something of a counterpoint to the Black Lives Matter movement that emerged after high-profile, racially charged police shootings occurred around the country.
SFPD policy already prohibits any modification of uniform requirements that could be construed as political statements similar to wearing a political button while on duty.
Police union president Tony Montoya responded that “With all the real danger and challenges we face today, these folks should stop grasping at straws, because they’re banned in San Francisco. Officers are wearing masks to keep the public safe as they continue to serve our city,” the San Francisco Examiner reported.
Montoya also implied that he made Scott’s command staff aware of the face masks that his union was handing out to cops on the beat and that they asked for more of them.
Crime- and homelessness-ridden San Francisco, the home of U.S. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, is a sanctuary city that is non-compliant with federal immigration law.
Last year, the executive in charge of Montgomery County, Md., similarly banned a police station from displaying a thin blue line flag that was a gift from a local woodworker on grounds that is was divisive. The flag was gifted in recognition of National First Responders Day. Montgomery County in the D.C. suburbs is a sanctuary jurisdiction.
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