Catlettsburg, KY - After public criticism, Eastern Kentucky Police Chief Cameron Logan has removed large decals with a Punisher skull and the words 'Blue Lives Matter' from eight patrol cars.
Fernando Alfonso III with The Herald-Leader reports, Catlettsburg Police Chief Logan had the images placed on the hoods of its 2013 and 2017 Ford Interceptor sedans and sport utility vehicles in December, 2016. The CPD has eight full-time and two part-time Police Officers.
The logo was praised by many local residents but criticized by others. The designs were initiated by Chief Logan, who worked with a Louisiana vinyl shop to get the decals printed. It is not known how much the decals cost, but they were reportedly inexpensive. They were placed on the hoods of each patrol vehicle.
Chief Logan, who has been with the agency for 13 years, said that the design and decals were to give back to the Officers. He said “Our lives matter just as much as anybody’s. ... I’m not racist or anything like that, I’m not trying to stir anything up like that. I consider it to be a ‘warrior logo.’ Just ’cause it has ‘Blue Lives Matter’ on the hood, all lives matter. That decal represents that we will take any means necessary to keep our community safe."
The design and the decals were approved by the City Council and Mayor Randall Peterman. One Council member, Richard "Andy" Brown, said that he thought it was a waste of money. He said that the cost wasn't expensive but that his main objective was to "make sure the taxpayers' money is used in the most efficient way possible." Brown also said that he understood it was something they felt strongly about since they risked their lives. And then he mentioned that "there's been a lot of people mistreated by police, and their lives matter, too, like that guy in North Carolina."
Unbelievable. That guy in North Carolina that Brown is referring to is Keith Lamont Scott, who was shot and killed in September, 2016, by a Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Officer. Violent rioting occurred in the city of Charlotte after the shooting for days. A state of emergency was declared after rioters broke downtown business windows and looted businesses. They also blocked highways and set fires. The National Guard was activated to assist the Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Department, according to NBC News. And in November, 2016, Mecklenburg County District Attorney's Office announced that the Police Officer who shot Scott would not be charged because the shooting was justified.
The 'Punisher' decal was also questioned. The symbol was created for Marvel anti-hero Frank Castle. Castle is a vigilante former police officer who assassinates violent criminals. The logo has since been unofficially used by the military and fallen hero American Sniper Chris Kyle. Official Blue Lives Matter decals do not utilize the Punisher skull.
One Catlettsburg resident who grew up there said that 'respect for police has suffered nationwide.' He also said that “They’re out there putting their lives on the line every day. They get little gratitude for that already, and when we have silly people who challenge them and wonder what’s going to happen, what do you expect is going to happen? We shouldn’t be challenging our police officers. We should be supporting them.”
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