SSA orders contractor to remove Blue Lives Matter flag

About an hour after we snapped this photo at the Woods Hole terminal, the SSA ordered its contractor to remove the Blue Lives Matter flag from a crane. - George Brennan

Updated 3:40 pm

A crane at the Steamship Authority’s Woods Hole Project jobsite flew a Blue Lives Matter flag on Tuesday, in apparent contradiction to the ferry line’s apolitical stance. The jobsite is operated by general contractor Jay Cashman Inc. A representative from that company deferred comment on the flag to another staff member, and promised to respond when they could reach that person.

SSA spokesman Sean Driscoll told The Times that “per SSA policy, the only flag allowed to be flown on our property other than the U.S. and state flags is the POW/MIA flag. We relayed that to Cashman today, and they have removed the flag.”

Blue Lives Matter has been seen as a countermovement to Black Lives Matter. Proponents of Blue Lives Matter have sought to equate the killing of police officers with hate crime. However many in law enforcement view the the Blue Lives Matter flag, commonly known as the Thin Blue Line flag, as a sign of support for what is an inherently perilous occupation. The flag has been a divisional flashpoint at several Massachusetts fire departments, where it has been flown from fire apparatus. 

As the Patriot Ledger reported, Hingham’s fire chief stirred controversy when he ordered the flag removed from town fire trucks following a citizen’s complaint. Union firefighters under him didn’t agree with the decision.

In an effort to maintain a politically neutral environment, the SSA opted to tune out several national news broadcasts on its ferries and its terminals, and stick with NECN, following customer complaints about the political flavor of those programs.

Updated to add some context on the Blue Line flag.

134 COMMENTS

  1. “Blue Lives Matter is a countermovement to Black Lives Matter. Blue Lives Matter, among other things, seeks to equate the killing of police officers with hate crime.”

    This entire statement is 100% incorrect.The thin blue line flag is not a counter movement against BLM. You continuously try to create a divide between law enforcement and the island community. It’s pretty obvious where you stand on the issue but at least post accurate information. The island community and law enforcement have a great relationship for the most part. Report as such

    • I think the point is that blue loves have ALWAYS mattered, always been supported, always well funded. We are at a turning point brought about by a minority of racist bad actors n the ranks of the police. We need to weed out those bad actors to return law enforcement to the position of respect they deserve. Defending these bad actors, as some police unions appear to have done, does not serve the interests of law enforcement at large.

        • Ajay, could you explain what you mean, exactly? To whom do black lives not matter? And what is the data to support what you are trying to say?

          • Seaman, if I may stick my nose in, I gathered some of that information for you. Please read my comment from July 24th:

            https://www.mvtimes.com/2020/07/18/speak-up-for-what-is-right/

            You did not reply. I figured you may have missed this, so I tried to call your attention to it under a second racial discussion, where you were still active. Again, no reply. You then claimed I have yet to provide evidence. Even if you won’t admit to the criminal data, you can’t possibly brush off the CDC and Harvard Chan’s acknowledgement that Black lives do not matter as much to some healthcare professionals? This plays a part in new moms dying and leaving behind infants. It’s been deemed a crisis. Much of the public focus has been on police, and rightfully so at times, but systemic racism is complex and varied.

            I want to clear something up because it relates back to denying facts. Something I feel you tried to flip around in order to deflect my criticism of your more biased posts. I, too, have a connection to the Holocaust and have always expressed, including on this site, that it should not be mocked or borrowed. By no means would I ever belittle survivors or the deceased. Yet after drawing a faulty comparison between Blackface and The Producers (if you want me to elaborate on that, just ask), you basically said that I want to denounce the former while excusing the latter. False. Jewish history *and* Black history deserve much respect. I know that.

            It is you who cherry-picks what kind of suffering is worthy of compassion. That was my point. I addressed your objection to Nazi humor — despite very much agreeing with the heart of your message — only because you have trivialized and denied other matters involving human rights. Like unjustified murder and brutality. Empathy and tact aren’t finite resources. Why can’t we respect everyone’s heritage?

            We can agree that denying the Holocaust is vile and dangerous, yes? Also cruel. I apply that knowledge to all serious suffering. Those who have been the target of racist attacks or found their freedoms stripped due to prejudice should not be written off. It happens more than many assume. There is no clearinghouse for the impact of racism. I wish you would consider what a luxury it is to be able to sit back and demand abstract proof from a safe distance. Many have come by it the hard way, through experience. The least you can do is listen to a variety of Black viewpoints, not just the conservative ones that back up your assumptions. And yes, I have listened to Candace Owens.

            Apologies for the length. Felt this was important.

          • A Black Life Did Not Matter to the White Cop who murdered(charged with) George Floyd.

            One is more than enough.
            There are so many more than one.

          • I’m not entirely sure which point this is in response to, but it appears to confirm my points. To summarize: blue lives matter is a reactionary slogan used by racists and their dupes, and that relies upon an inexplicable fondness by the public for the barrels of bad apples that we call police officers.

    • Blue Lives have always mattered, it is clueless to suggest otherwise. Moreover, the Blue Lives Matter “flag” defaces an important and historic contribution to the United States. We live with the Red, White, and Blue, in case “Blue Lives” have forgotten. Unpatriotic to say the least, the flag is not meant for co-option and redesign.

    • “Great relationship”? Huh? Except those residents who have their confidential records searched by rogue Oak Bluffs police.
      Except those residents whose home is broken into at 3am by a drunken police chief.
      Except those residents whose home is shot at with lethal bullets by a rogue State Trooper.
      Except those residents who are stalked and harassed by rogue TPD. (unfortunate suicide ending)
      Except those residents and colleagues driven off the TPD by allegedly sexist and unconscionable co-workers. Then have to file MCAD complaints for redress.
      Except those residents who are subject to sexual harassment, then filing a lawsuit containing these allegations against the CPD .
      Except those citizen residents, working as clerks, filing a suit against the conduct of the TPD.
      What “good relationship” are you talking about?

      • “Except those residents who are stalked and harassed by rogue TPD. (unfortunate suicide ending)”

        James, did this make the news? I’m not familiar with this case. Can you provide any more info? Thanks.

    • the flag is a disingenuous reaction to criticism, used to muddy the waters and portray anyone who dare criticize the police as wishing them harm so that no accountability is required of the police

  2. The thin blue line flag is a flag that honors officers who have lost their lives in the line of duty and the thin blue line concept has been around a lot longer than the black lives matter movement and honoring officers who have lost their lives should not be politicized. Not sure why it’s so controversial now to simply show appreciation for police officers in your community.

    • Funny how nobody felt the need to say anything about blue lives until people started saying Black Lives Matter. What a peculiar coincidence! And isn’t it also strange that when counter-protesters show up to BLM rallies they chant that blue lives matter?

  3. Maybe if the SSA were privatized, it could fly whatever flags it wants as well as offer better services. Two birds, one stone!

  4. Since they are a monopoly there is a limit to what we can do. However, this whole notion that the blue flag is somehow a way to show contempt for BLM is a falsehood. It’s not, it’s a way to show respect for fallen officers, support for police and what they do for us everyday. It’s not a condoning of bad police. If you want to allow no flag to be flown unless it’s Old Glory, fine, but allow that to be the only reason as to remove this flag. Enough already with the anti police sentiment. There are tons of good police agencies and good cops, period.

    • You seem to think that flying Old Glory modified with a black field for the stars, black stripes, except for one in bright blue is a way to honor police murdered in the line of duty is an OK thing to do. .
      Beside it would you object to to flying Old Glory modified with BLM in Black letters to honor people of color murdered by White policeman?

    • The problem is not the ‘good cops’, it is the ‘bad apples’.
      The good cops know who the bad apples are.
      It is not enough to be a good cop, you have great cop and get the bad apples out of the business.

  5. Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.

      • It is the contractor flying the flag on his equipment. IMO the/the company has the right to fly whatever flag they please, as long as it is a flag *for* a group, and not *against* a group. It is basically a glorified bumper sticker, on private property—the equipment is a glorified vehicle.

        • In a prominent location that implies endorsement by that contractor’s employers and by extension the entire island, and possibly in violation of state law.

        • The flag was on SSA property, not private property.
          The SSA has the right to control what is on their property.
          Even private property.

  6. The Chief of Police in Oak Bluffs, a White man, is the President of the Island chapter of the NAACP. I do not understand why an SSA’s contractor’s political or civil precedents are anyone else’s business. If some are allowed to support Blacks, others should be allowed to support the police.

    • You just do not understand, Blacks Lives Do Not Matter to so many Americans.
      They did not matter in 1776.
      They do not matter today.

    • Huh? All lives matter. Until all lives matter, and everyone can exercise their First Amendment rights to free speech, then no lives matter and no one’s free speech rights matter. Why is that so hard to understand?

  7. I remember when the Island was great.
    There were only private ferries.
    Ugly bit of business getting back and forth in the winter.

    • I seem to recall you said you first came here in 1961. The SSA was created in 1949. Perhaps you are thinking of the strike that occurred around the time you arrived. That was fun!

      • “Island Raised”?
        According to the Steamship Authority the Steamship Authority was created in 1960.
        I was on the Island in 1949, as a babe in arms, I do not remember it.

        • ajay– so why did you say your remembered it ?
          I think Island raised is close enough with his 1961 comment.

        • Ajay, m’dear,
          You are confusing creation of SSA with reorganization of SSA. I believe after the big strike that was so much fun, with a coupla cars attached to a fishing boats with glorified bungees.
          Wiki:
          “In 1948, the Commonwealth of Massachusetts announced its intent to consolidate the private ferry services into a state-owned entity. This created the New Bedford, Woods Hole, Martha’s Vineyard and Nantucket Steamship Authority, which began in 1949.[7] The Massachusetts legislature dropped “New Bedford” from the company’s name in 1960.”

  8. 13generationsMV Can we just be informed and honest? Just look at the name-“Blue Lives Matter”, Really! It 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.[1] 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.[2] Wikipedia. But, seriously, the movement is redundant as attacking or killing a police officer would already result in a harsher punishment than attacking a non-police officer So yeah! At least according to the law, Blues Lives do Matter. C’mon, don’t make it that one’s belief that Black Lives Matter negates their respect for the good and admirable job of the majority of police officers. Stop letting DT separate us!

    • Should there be stiffer penalties for killing a cop than my grandfather?
      Is that why Blue Lives Matter?
      Because they matter more than my grandfather?

    • I am informed and was being honest. The flag that was being flown is not a “blue lives matter flag” it’s called a thin blue line flag. Again as a few people have stated in these comments already, the thin blue line flag is a flag to honor men and women who have lost their lives in the line of duty. And that is something I don’t think should be politicized. Yes it’s used to show support for police at back the blue rallies. However as I said, the thin blue line concept has been around for a long time and I wish I was not such a controversial thing and wish it was not politicized because of what it actually means. Thats all I was saying

  9. Our Martha’s Vineyard Regional High School as well as all our island schools should also be “apolitical”!
    I am highly offended, highly offended seeing the large “Black Lives Matters” sign on the grounds of our MVRHS right out in front for all to see!
    Being a lifelong island year-round native who attended – graduated from MVRHS, am a year-round island taxpayer with children in that school I demand that that “BLM” sign be removed forthwith as all signs on that property as well as all flags well be apolitical!
    Do I hear a Hell Yea?

    • I don’t agree, and no, you do not hear a “hell yea”. Please explain how the words “Black Lives Matter” is a POLITICAL statement to you. Seems to me, this came about as a response to the disproportionate numbers of black persons killed by a small number of rogue police officers.It’s not about Democrat or Republican principles or policies. It’s not about conservative or liberal mindsets. It’s about HUMAN BEINGS. If you cannot see the sadness, anger and frustration over this tragedy, well, than you really can only be one thing: Racist. Hell to that yea.

    • There’s nothing wrong with a BLM sign at the school just as long as they allow any other Lives Matter sign that anyone wishes to post there.

    • As a matter of policy there is no such thing as apolitical.
      Just going going to to school makes a political statement.
      Ask any home schooler.

  10. Ps. If the superintendent and the school committee continues to allow the “BLM” sign to proudly stand there I insist that a – “Blue Lives Matter” sign, a “All Lives Matter” and a “Pre-Born Lives Matter” signs be all put up right alongside that existing sign and if that is not allowed I want a explanation!

    • It’s been said many times, by many people, but I will repeat it. If you are bothered by the statement that Black Lives Matter enough to insist that All Lives Matter, yet you oddly have no objection to the limited scope of stating that Blue Lives Matter? Clearly it’s the word Black you take issue with. Why is that? And there is no such thing as a blue life outside of The Smurfs. Don’t compare any occupation to someone’s identity. (No, I’m not saying that police officers should be killed. I know some here adore twisting things.)

      • aquinnah, you are amazingly patient. It’s July and I’m making a blueberry pie…BUT strawberries matter too! Why are you making a blueberry pie. It’s crazy. In this moment this country is and should be focusing on the fact that Black Lives Matter….That says nothing about any other lives not mattering…It says a lot about Black lives not mattering for far too long.

        • Alittleheartcanthurt, maybe you can bribe the racists into behaving with pie. 😋 Mmm, blueberries.

          Exactly, it’s nuts. I would hope by now that everyone realizes we’re just trying to make “all lives matter” an honest sentiment by respecting those who have been routinely dismissed.

    • Blue lives have always mattered, so have “all lives” the way you are using it – and the “pre-born”? What does that mean, like, my sperm? My egg? A fetus? Women deserve control over their bodies. If you have a problem with it, you may as well have a problem with rape.

    • Insist on whatever you want.
      Until you are the Superintendent or a School Committee Member your insistence is essentially meaningless.
      With your attitude it is unlikely you could ever win a School Committee seat even though you are a native.

    • Tisbury Native: I would withhold that portion of your property tax that is allotted to the regional high school until the BLM sign is removed.

    • There is no such thing as pre-born, something is born or it isn’t.
      Did you have scrambled eggs for breakfast?
      Shouldn’t you be calling them pre-born scrambled chickens?

  11. For those who view this as a political divide, I might point out that nearly everything has been politicized and polarized in the past 4 years.
    I fully agree that the ssa should not allow this flag, or any other as a policy.
    Having said that, the flag itself should not be offensive to anyone that is capable of rational thinking.
    It is a tribute to fallen officers, who deserve our respect. All police officers put themselves on the line every day for the protection of the general population and deserve our respect and gratitude.

    • Yet again Don you are absolutely right.
      Having said that, the the thin blue line flag itself should not be offensive to anyone that is capable of rational thinking.
      Just like the ‘Black Lives Matter’ flag.

      • Why do literal nazis, with swastikas and confederate battle flags, chant “blue lives matter” when they are counterprotesting at BLM events? Don’t you find that odd? Do you ever look to your left and right and notice whom it is you are in bed with?

  12. Its a sad state of affairs in this country when its not ‘politically correct’ to support the police. If you don’t like the police… then call someone else when you have a problem that you can’t handle. Many Years ago a friend of mine who was an officer off-island (protected by his union) was free to speak his mind. No worries about the current climate where someone makes a social media post that isn’t politically correct and gets reprimanded. His bumper sticker said ‘if you don’t like the police, the next time you need a cop, call a hippie”.

    • Yes, many love to run with this line of thinking and ignore the chicken-or-egg problem behind it. You assume some of us just randomly do not trust the police. Did it occur to you that the reason for that is precisely because we already tried to get help and ended up being harassed instead? I cannot think of a single circumstance where I would ever contact the police for my own needs again. Been there, more than once, and not only did I receive absolutely no assistance, but they made things much worse. I would call them if someone else were in trouble because that’s the responsible thing to do and the system we have in place to deal with a variety of issues. It’s not my right to deny someone else access. But me, personally? No, I won’t ever again file a report or deal with an officer unless I have to. And I don’t have so much as a parking ticket or a late library book in my past, so it certainly wasn’t a matter of my staggering criminal record coloring their perception. That’s another party line, right? You must be a career criminal if the police are indecent towards you. Only a sheltered person could believe that. We have many sheltered people around.

    • It’s a sad state of affairs in this country when it is not politically correct to admit that policing in this country is highly race based.

    • It’s a sad state of affairs in this country when its not ‘politically correct’ to support the people protesting police racism.

  13. While I agree with some of the comments, to an extent, regarding the difference between Black Lives Matter and Blue Lives Matter I guess I’d like to know the intent of the person who raised the flag in Woods Hole? We likely will never know ,but if I were a betting person, I’d bet to provoke as opposed to making a statement about the police.
    And Tisbury Native… You need to cut the dose. Your posts are nonsensical, even for you. Sheesh.

  14. I’ll wave whatever flag I want in Wood Hole. Take a look at the contract and find that disclaimer. If it is missing then too bad SSA, renegotiate. Whoever owns the crane can fly the American flag upside down if they wish. My rights still exist… even in the standby line. I’m offended by the characterization of the ‘thin blue line’ flag. The MV Times editor should be ashamed. Enough of the cop bashing. What is the big deal about a flag honoring the police?

    • As a former Police Officer you must be aware that the SSA has the the right to decide what one of their contractors may, and may not, put on their property.
      For what reason should the SSA negotiate what?

      • 15 years as a police chief and a neutral arbitrator. Yeah, I’m aware alright. It’s not about my opinion of one flag or another. So, go ahead and take down the ‘thin blue line’ flag. Would it then be ok to replace it with the ‘Rainbow’ flag? It’s a slippery slope to arbitrarily pick winners and losers on public property. My point is freedom of expression.

        • As to the flags, that will up to the people who control of the real estate.
          You are not free to fly your flag on other people’s property.
          Not even We the People’s property.

          • Mrs. B:
            Re ” I guess I’d like to know the intent of the person who raised the flag in Woods Hole?”

            You can wish to know all you want, but it doesn’t mean squat. Fortunately you are not a mind-reader, although a lot of commenters here seem to think they are. We have free speech in this country, and you are not the monitor of who gets to exercise their rights. If you don’t like the sentiments, deal with it. Raise your own flag. Your own motivation, to “nanny” other people’s exercise of their rights and decide what is acceptable, is obvious. And kind of obnoxious.

          • I don’t know the law here. But if I have a flag or a bumper sticker on my car and I park in a private parking lot, can the owner of the parking lot demand that I move the flag or the bumper sticker? I can think of a heck of a lot of bumper stickers that are candidates for immediate removal!

  15. There are no blue lives.Cops were not born cops. If they quit being a cop, they are just like everyone else. The whole blue lives matter concept is a joke.

    • I was born to be a cop and quit being a cop. I just wanted to be treated like everyone else. The whole blue lives matter concept isn’t a joke. A quick Wikipedia search shows the “Blue Lives Matter” movement was created in December, 2014, after the homicides of NYPD officers Rafael Ramos and Wenjian Liu in Brooklyn, New York.

      • Paul, the problem is that in practice, Blue Lives Matter is not, at least the vast majority of the time, actually mentioned within the context of anything having happened to an officer. It’s being used as nothing more than a pointed, nasty retort to those stating Black lives matter. If we’re discussing a specific case involving a Black murder victim — like George Floyd — and “Blue Lives Matter!!!!!” is the only reply offered by someone, despite the fact that no officers were harmed during that incident, then the goal is obviously to drown out Floyd’s death and our ensuing call for change and justice.

        • Aquinnah, let me explain the problem to you. It is that you are not a mind reader and you do not know why people are flying flags. And even if you were a mind-reader or had some kind of ESP and knew exactly what motivates other adult citizens of the USA, it would be irrelevant. Your own motivation of unremitting virtue signaling is clear as crystal.

      • With you attitude that people are ‘born to be cops’ it is not surprising that your cop career was short.
        The root problem is that so many cops think they are special.
        They think that it is their birthright.

        • It’s in my genes. I’m kidding of course, but consider this. My greatgrandfather survived the Civil War and became a Boston police officer. Four generations later I became one too. My grandfather, my father, three uncles and two cousins did too. I’m used to the lack of respect for cops. It’s in my genes. I’m not kidding. Cheers, ajay.

          • Many would argue that respect is earned. I see it a little differently. Have always felt respect should be given automatically until someone decides to behave with dishonor. Some officers have definitely earned that lack of respect and trust. There is no reasonable way to slap an exact number on this, so I won’t, but it’s far more than a few bad apples. Because it’s not just the murderers. It’s the ones who “rough up” suspects or even innocent people. It’s those who may not engage in such appalling behavior themselves but are willing to cover for their co-workers who do.

            Other officers have done their jobs well and stepped up to dismantle racism. And I respect them for it. Because they are earning it. Just putting on the uniform isn’t enough anymore. That seems like a positive shift to me. We need high standards for those with power. It’s actually pro-good cop move to weed out anyone aggressive. Those types increase dangerous tensions with the public by escalating. The more trust between police and citizens, the better outcome for all. That’s why I think using Blue Lives Matter to silence anti-racism is self-defeating.

  16. A thousand people are killed by police each year, disproportionately Black or Latino, and nearly half unarmed. That number has been rising steadily for the past 8 years, when serious counting began. This is nearly four times the number of police officers killed in the line of duty. The imbalance in power and the willingness of police to kill unarmed men (mostly) is why the Thin Blue Line is a deeply flawed claim, biased, an insult to both logic and common sense, and a provocation for yet more hair-trigger violence by police. Once again, facts matter.

    • Mr Starkwell the unarmed you claim is manifestly untrue. The Washington Post paper argued, drawing from its own database, that there were 55 incidents in which police shot and killed unarmed individuals last year. The newspaper said that 25 of those incidents involved whites, while 14 were black. Please concentrate on the word ”UNARMED”

      • Thank you for speaking the truth.
        So the police kill a disportionate number of unarmed Blacks.
        Is that what has them so riled up?

      • andrew– hello!!!– McFly– anybody home–? The failing “fake news” Washington post draws from its own database and you believe that? HA HA HA A HA !!!!!
        My guess is that the murder of legally armed Philando Castile while he sat in his car, gun in the glove compartment was one of the armed one’s https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Shooting_of_Philando_Castile– and if they found so much as a pocket knife on a deceased individual they were also armed, right? Even though there was no threat to the police. I’ll believe Virgil, thanks.

    • Source: https://www.washingtonpost.com/graphics/investigations/police-shootings-database/
      A review of the shootings of unarmed people in 2018 shows that officers were reported to be under physical attack in about 40 percent of the cases. The remaining 60 percent involved a variety of circumstances, including individuals’ making provocative movements or verbal threats or fleeing, or being shot unintentionally.

      My database search criteria: 2019+Black+Weapon= cut & paste.stats below
      Gun: 166 people shot and killed by police
      Knife: 33 people shot and killed by police
      Vehicle: 19 people shot and killed by police
      Other weapon: 11 people shot and killed by police
      Toy weapon: 6 people shot and killed by police
      Unarmed: 14 people shot and killed by police
      Total: 250 people shot and killed by police

        • It’s the opinion of mathematician Aubrey Clayton. His byline reads: “In the numbers of fatal encounters with the cops, one kind of discrimination masks another.” His ‘Simpson’s Paradox’ finding is steeped in his own biases. Clayton’s stats are designed to fit his theory. Numbers can’t alone capture fast-evolving circumstances with raw emotions in real-time when someone’s life is on the line. It’s simpler to use common sense. Shrink the study down to the actual cases. Study the background of any and all participants. Learn all about them from the day they were born to the day of the unfortunate incident. Monitor subjectivity during the study in order to keep the process objective. Immediately investigate any possible red flag throughout. A diverse panel of peers is essential for accuracy. Find the uniqueness or common factors of each case. It’s not a simple black and white or always about black and white.

        • Got a personal chief story about bad stats. In 2004 Massachusetts police agencies were required to file a form for all motor vehicle stops. The race of the person and any search conducted was prominent factors in the study. So, one day O read in the Boston Globe that Edgartown PD was #4 in searching cars statewide. Wow. I discovered one officer used the wrong criteria. He included ‘plain view search’ a nonfactor in the study. Another issue was how to properly identify Portuguese speaking Brazilian nationals. Hispanic’s were defined as Spanish speaking people. They had no definitive category and slipped through the cracks. I contacted Jack McDevitt the director of Northeastern Institute on Race and explained my findings. He had no desire to correct the record. I demanded EPD get a fair evaluation. I prevailed. See page 81 of the study and find Edgartown* with an asterisk. See the bottom of page 81. Yeah, bad stats* Jack was forced to correct. (Ctrl F to find Edgartown.)
          https://repository.library.northeastern.edu/files/neu:344627/fulltext.pdf

          • paul– I am really impressed with your thorough analysts of relevant studies here. Thank you for the perspective of your opinions and the data you bring to the conversation. You get the dondondon “best comment of the week award” .

        • ajay–I think if an officer is dealing with a person who says something like “I have a gun and I am going to kill you ” and then reaches into their pocket, I would say that is a verbal threat worthy of shoot to kill.
          Also, if someone has been seen committing extreme violence on someone, and when confronted by police starts to flee,– ditto–
          every situation is different– sometimes it’s murder, sometimes it’s justified.

  17. I don’t think ANYONE commenting here is unsupportive of the our law enforcement ! They’re lives are put on the line to ensure our safety ! I think most also support a flag that speaks to the loss of policeperson lives in the acts of duty ! But please lets be higher-level thinkers and cut the BS. The seemingly recent cropping up of this thin blue line flag is a CLEAR response/retort/reaction to the Black Lives Matter movement. It intends to minimize or marginalize the concern over racial injustice at the hands of a very small minority of bad cops.Failure to acknowledge that this CONTEXT matters is ignorance at best, and at it’s worst – Racism.

  18. Black Lives Matter is in essence saying already that all lives matter. It is saying that we all should all be treated equally under the law. So for those who feel compelled to substitute another color in the BLM slogan, what you are doing is just attempting assert your dominance over black people by preempting this message of equality. That is unquestionably racist.

      • Most people who are themselves not victimized by systemic racism, have been spending time examining what they do to keep it going. Blatant racists deny there is such a thing. I did not invent this explanation, but I agree with it: White people have troubles and may have had a very hard life, but none of it was due to the color of their skin. Not all problems a Black person may have are due to racism, obviously, but there is not a black person in this country who has not experienced some discrimination that has caused trouble in their life, whether it’s through police racial profiling while legally walking or driving, renting an apartment, selling something, seeing someone cross the street to avoid them, being followed around by security in a store, or being assumed to not belong somewhere– 1st class on an airplane, “nice” neighborhood, etc. Most people, once they realize how real it is, do not want to promote what are the stark realities of living while Black in America. Denying this fact of Americn life just makes a person sound racist.

        • Good points, Jackie. I wish people would realize that denying racism only allows it to fester. Maybe I’m being naive. Maybe that’s exactly the goal. No one alive today is at fault for how racism began, but we can all play a part in how it ends. Unfortunately, just the mention of social responsibility sets some off, as if it were a burdensome thing. I don’t see it that way. Having the power to make a positive impact is an opportunity that should not be squandered.

          I just read in the Times newsletter that this comments section will be suspended as of tomorrow. I don’t have a Facebook account and won’t be following the conversation over there, so I just wanted to take this chance to wish everyone well and say that I appreciate those who want to work towards resolution. Who post helpful, factual information. It was my hope that everyone would actually read the presented facts and engage in a fair, healthy discussion after, but that has not be happening, and we can’t control others. I’m sorry we will no longer have the chance to explore these topics here.

    • Hay Mr lawyer, google these headlines so you can see what `BLM` is really all about. — “Chicago BLM Holds ‘Rally’ After More Than 100 Arrested And Says 60 Millions Dollars In Looting Should Be Considered “Reparations” –!

    • Mr. Larkosh, if what you say is true then it puzzles me why BLM members beat and murder those who dare to clarify or amplify the issue that every life, indeed, matters.

      • seaman– got any facts on blm members beating and murdering people ?
        “too many to count” does not pass the muster of truth..
        Post something about your claim, and we can have a reasonable conversation about it.

    • ” ALL LIVES” don’t get hung from a tree in 2020 America and labeled a suicide.
      Every person I have encounterd who has a problem with BLACK LIVES MATTER is a racist. It irks them.

      • Good point, Cherokee Sal. That scenario happened 40 years ago on the Vineyard, too. 😔 Many think our island home is immune to the horrors of the outside world. That’s never been the case. We just don’t acknowledge all the ugly parts.

  19. Choosing the “thin blue line” to commemorate the lives of fallen officers is dubious at best. While it was originally meant to symbolize the positive role of law enforcement in maintaining civil society, the term has taken on broader cultural meaning over the last 50 years. It now also refers to the “blue wall of silence” that covers up police misconduct.

    In addition, it is understood that it is a “thin blue line” — perhaps too easily crossed — that distinguishes criminal behavior from police behavior. Lt. General Michael Flynn pled guilty to crossing the “thin blue line” when he worked to benefit the government of Turkey in 2016. Chief Petty Officer Edward Gallagher certainly crossed the “thin blue line” when he committed war crimes in Iraq. And most recently, Officer Derek Chauvin crossed the “thin blue line” when he knelt on George Floyd’s neck until he died.

    It’s time to find a different symbol to display in support of the role of law enforcement and to honor their lives and the work they do on our behalf — one that is not fraught with double meanings.

  20. The Blue Line Flag is as much a symbol of gang membership as red or blue bandanas.
    And it also goes against the US Flag code.
    It is a decisive symbol and should never be on the publicly funded property,
    including uniforms

  21. Contractor is working on private property under a contact. If you’re working on my property you don’t get to hoist a flag in my yard or driveway, if that’s a deal breaker collect your gear and get out of the way for the guy that want’s the job. I don’t care what you flag affiliation is, fly it at your house not mine.

  22. most of the people saying flying this flag is fine and not political are probably the same ones whining how they’ll never watch sports while people kneel during the national anthem

  23. WoW this island as well as the press has gone so far Left that some of us think they have totally lost it!
    Some of the comments above are just beyond logical reasoning.
    However it will be exciting when they see the Nov election results and the Deplorables get another 4 years and sleepy Joe is confined to his padded basement for his own well being.

    • What’s beyond logical reasoning? You always toss out criticism but never respond or get specific. Anyone can do that. Back up your claim with a real argument.

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