Controversy over blue line flag honoring slain SLO police officer

May 25, 2021

By KAREN VELIE

Following the murder of 37-year-old detective Luca Benedetti, who was shot and killed while serving a warrant, the San Luis Obispo Police Department memorialized the officer by hanging two blue line flags in front of headquarters.

Throughout San Luis Obispo, people tied blue ribbons on trees and attached blue line flags to their vehicles in support of the officer’s family and law enforcement, actions that Cal Poly music professor Scott Glysson deemed racist.

“The flag with the blue line is not a sign of community support for police,” Glysson posted on Facebook. “It is a racist symbol. It was popularized at the same time and in direct response to the Black Lives Matter movement.”

At the center of the conflict is the blue line flag, to some a sign of support for law enforcement and to others a symbol of hate.

The issue arose after some BLM protesters, who marched in opposition to racism in policing, labeled all officers as racist based on their profession. Law enforcement supporters countered the protesters by tying blue ribbons on trees and waving blue line flags.

The discourse over the flag’s meaning has played out across the county following a series of protests in which BLM supporters repeatedly stopped traffic and yelled at people dining in restaurants.

Earlier this month, a thin blue line flag placed outside the Paso Robles Public Safety Center sparked controversy in the North County city, leading to the police chief ordering the flag be taken down.

Supporters of the blue line flag, like the Flags of Valor group, say it has long been used to support law enforcement.

“The phrase, ‘thin blue line,’ was initially mentioned in a 1911 poem by Nels Dickmann Anderson,” according to Flags of Valor. “In the 1950s, the blue line was adopted by law enforcement professionals to represent their courage and sacrifice while protecting the American people.”

Glysson, on the other side of the debate, believes the flag is a destructive symbol that disparages people of color.

“I can’t even imagine what a person of color must feel when they drive by a police station displaying this flag,” Glysson posted on Facebook.”Even if unintended, it tells a person of color their struggle is not important.”


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Buchon

Scott Glysson is full of malarkey. The blue line flag and the blue (LE), green (military) and red (fire) line flags are harmless tools to show respect for our first responders and our military men and women. That fact clearly bothers some — including Glysson. Some are even agitated by American Flags today. Crazy!


I’m sure that talking such smack has no doubt added to Glysson’s cred on campus. Perhaps he can next emote on the evils of flying Israeli flags or GASP, Trump flags!


George Garrigues

Hello. I would give the local officers a “pass.” I noticed the flag also when I drove by (I’ve never liked it), but I inwardly shrugged (not taking my hands off the wheel, I assure you) and thought “those guys are suffering; don’t fuss about it!).


I will get back to my usual rancorous self with another cause, not this one.


Robert1

It’s obvious Scotty marches to a different tune, poor baby.


ml1999

I hope he doesn’t have tenure. Virtue signaling? The thin blue line represents support for police. Period.


FWIW, Antifa / BLM led riots led to dozens of deaths and tens of Millions in damages.


When BLM, etc, come up, I’ve been posting this:


Facts:

– 18 ‘unarmed’ black men killed by police in 2020. (Figure dropping.)

– 28 ‘unarmed’ WM killed by police in 2020.

– 360 police officers killed in the line of duty, 2020. (Constant)

– 7,000 Black men, most killed by other Black men, in 2020. (Constant)


kevin rise

There are so many other ways to show support Vs that disgusting flag that really in its entirety is Racist, it’s been used to counter BLM. It’s so sad, BLM is here to expose systemic racism and racists and White Nationalist Christians, that exist here in Slo and everywhere, and to move foward with our future while examining our sick sick past of white mens terrorism. But Faux News, MTG, Trump, other fakes psychopathic little white snowflakes of hate, scews everything with their lies, fake rhetoric, racism and hate. People hate what they dont understand, or like racism around here, they just ignore it. Everyone forgets how racist this county was, and still is. BLM, screw that thing blue lives bs flag and screw blue lives matter, racist crap.


username1

If it’s so horrible here why wouldn’t you just move.


agnative

LOL


Buchon

Following your last rant I must finally ask — are you a parody? I’m serious when I ask that.


Are your posts nothing more than attempts to amuse, to gain personal attention and/or perhaps to burn excess time on your hands?


If you are actually being serious, your clear hatred of Caucasian people (including yourself perhaps?) is out and out pathetic. It’s something you should seek help with.


Stunned

While you blather on about “many other ways to show support” I’m curious to know what other flags you’d suggest. For one, I served proud in our United States military which grants and preserves others rights to protest. While you won’t see a blue line on my stars and strips it’s completely within their rights and boundary’s to do so and there’s nothing your whining can do about it.


Calling others a “little white snowflake” and slinging around “white mens terrorism” only points out who the true racist is here. You obviously have never had red, yellow, white and black men and women as your back-up in situations so shut the hell up until you learn a bit. Maybe move back to Chicago, L.A. or whatever place you came from.


commonsenseguy

Wow! How sad to be so filled with anger and rage.


ddc1983

It seems to me that the police deserve to have a flag / symbol that can be used for people to show their support for law enforcement. If people are offended by the blue line flag, couldn’t they at least suggest another flag/symbol to use?


George Garrigues

I would suggest the U.S. flag with a black ribbon tied to the staff. I haven’t checked, but I think this is OK with the Flag Code, which everybody has forgotten about these days. Especially folks who use the Flag’s image as a T-shirt or a bikini bottom.


cooperdog

“I can’t even imagine what a person of color must feel when they drive by a police station displaying this flag,”


Have you ever asked any person of color outside those who live in your echo chamber? Sometimes “progressives” remind me of the followers of Jim Jones; blind loyalty to the cult.


commonsenseguy

Exactly. A bunch of lemmings heading towards a cliff.


Slosum

A “music professor” at Cal Poly? Hahahahahah. Who cares? Jeez.


shelworth

I for one don’t think Cal Poly music professor Scott Glysson gets to decide what is, or is not, Racist. Using “The Thin Blue Line” flag to honor a fallen Officer is just fine in my book. Does Glysson not know there are many Black Police Officers in this Country?


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