Lindsey Burrows, a self-described criminal defense and appellate lawyer, was driving when she noticed a Portland Police SUV in front of her at a stoplight. When she observed an unusual window sticker on the back window of the vehicle, she swiftly shot a photo that has now ignited a legal storm.
For many activists, Portland has emerged as a focal point for protests and social movements, such as the call for police enforcement to be dismantled. Of course, in order to resist apparent systematic prejudice in the judicial system, many people have focused their attention and fury toward what they believe to be emblems of racism instead of unarguable instances of racial inequality.
Burrows shared a picture from the rear of a patrol car with a little “thin blue line” flag sticker in the pattern of the state of Oregon. Burrows shared her fury on Twitter, claiming that the city might soon face an expensive lawsuit over the decal.
Within hours, her tweet drew the focus of the media, which seemed to undertake some of Burrows’ legal job. The sticker violates city ordinance regarding “private decals or marks,” which are not permitted to be placed on city vehicles.
The media has pushed the notion that the “thin blue line” is intrinsically racist and has just recently appeared with the pro-law enforcement movement. Nevertheless, the emblem has been popular among cops since the 1950s and has been used to give solidarity for cops and their efforts. Nonetheless, media celebrities and activists like Burrows have unmistakably declared the sign a hate symbol and demanded that it be taken out of public view.
Lt. Tina Jones of the Portland Police Department was quickly made aware of the tweet and addressed the uproar. Although she could not disclose if the department had launched an investigation, she did affirm that the decal, if installed on the car by an officer, would be considered a “small policy infraction” that would result in disciplinary action.
Burrows mentions a “$100k lawsuit” that was paid out to a black Multnomah County employee in her tweet. Karimah Guion-Pledgure won her lawsuit, claiming that the county promoted a racially hostile workplace by permitting coworkers to wave the Blue Lives Matter banner. Guion-Pledgure also said that after she protested, employees ridiculed her.
Burrows warns that if the issue is not appropriately managed, Portland might face a similar sort of lawsuit. Several folks, as per her tweet, concur with her judgment that the decal has racist connotation and should not be permitted.
Burrows’ accusation is not unusual, as more activists have come forth with similar claims that law enforcement agents have racial prejudices. Of course, the “thin blue line” is only one of several patrol car stickers that have sparked outrage, including the American flag and the tagline “In God We Trust.”
For the time being, the police department is investigating the matter and will take appropriate action against the offender of the sticker. It will, though, not be the last protest from the anti-police camp blaming cops of intrinsic racism.