Officer In Trouble Over Blue Line Flag On Patrol Car After Citizen Complains

An Albuquerque police officer was told to remove the pro-police decal from a patrol car following a citizen's complaint.

Albuquerque, NM – An Albuquerque police officer was forced to remove a blue-line flag decal from a department-issued patrol car, after a citizen complained.

The citizen who complained claimed that it violated the U.S. Flag Code.

However, despite similarity to the U.S. flag, the pro-police flag is considered an entirely different flag, and does not violate flag code by altering the U.S. flag.

Despite this, posting stickers or license plates on patrol vehicles is a violation of the Albuquerque Police Department’s policy, unless they are specifically approved by the chief of police, department spokesperson Gilbert Gallegos told KRQE.

"We want uniformity among police cars, just kind of neutral and we don't want the chief to have to be deciding what kind of expression is appropriate or not," Gallegos explained. "They're not allowed to personalize their cars in any way.”

The officer was forced to remove the sticker following an investigation by the Civilian Police Oversight Agency (CPOA).

"First of all, I think this officer wasn't intending to, you know, mean any disrespect toward anyone,” Gallegos noted. “Every officer I know deeply respects the flag. And they're very proud of what it stands for.”

It was unclear what discipline may have resulted as a result of the decal.

Gallegos said the department is not actively searching for violations of the policy, but that they will address potential violations if a complaint is received from the public.

Several Albuquerque police cars currently have a wide variety of decals and plates, including blue-line flags, U.S. flags, collegiate plates, and military-related plates and decals, KRQE reported.

Earlier in 2018, another officer was forced to remove a “Don’t Tread on Me” license plate from the front of a patrol car because a citizen complained that it was an offensive reference to the Tea Party.

"That was an example of where it was inappropriate and definitely could be offensive and was offensive to some people," Gallegos told KRQE.

Comments (63)
No. 1-25
LEO0301
LEO0301

We wouldn't want to upset the liberal snowflakes that populate this country. They're so sensitive to anything and everything.

Hi_estComnDenomn
Hi_estComnDenomn

Cop cars shouldn't have bumper stickers, simple as that. Follow the rules.

qazwiz
qazwiz

only tea party "Don't Tread on Me" represents is the American Revolution's BOSTON Tea Party... flag was created to show what kind of snakes infest the homes being unfairly taxed and thus represents opposition to excessive taxation

Cpl_USMC_Retired
Cpl_USMC_Retired

Its offensive that an officer supports officers? The Chief should have turned around and put one on every car. Or, better yet, paint a huge one on the side of every car. It's not like it is making a political statement... you know what says "I support police" more than the 'Thin Blue Line' flag? Being a cop... or is that offensive too?

Matster
Matster

So he has a sticker that is in support of the job he does, and that's a violation!? This is some whiny liberal bullshit! Stop this suppression of expression before it ruins our country!!