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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Cmonnow

A symbol of racism? Really? I think its because they, who believe that, have been sold a bill of goods. The Professor trying show his solidarity, would better serve his students by sticking with music. Does anyone think for themselves anymore at the “prestigious university”? Oh whoops,that’s not allowed…the indoctrination department sees to that. Pretty scary.


Rambunctious

BLM are nothing but hateful bigots…this is my opinion and I have a right to say it….


Boldguy

So the Paso Police Chief takes down his blue line flag and the new SLO Police puts up a blue line flag, and keeps it up!!!

Are we in some kind of reverse space vortex!!!


Buchon

Maybe, just maybe, SLOPD’s new chief Tim Scott has a pair?


Eyes Everywhere

Why is this a news story????? A college professor posts something on his personal Facebook page, expressing his opinion. Disagree or agree–whatever. But why write a story about it? And why not at least interterview the guy and give him a chance to explain?


Jorge Estrada

The professor should have had his COVID, gonorrhea and social media shot before spreading his thoughts. Social Media has become the pestilence of alternative thinking.


calcoastdan

Cal Poly use to be a symbol of pride for San Luis Obispo County, but not so these days. The administration and its growing marxist faculty are a blight and embarrassment. As an ashamed alum of the institution I can honestly say that I believe university has outlived its welcome to our community. While we will never rid ourselves of this cancerous intruder, we can begin to limit its growth and influence. It is time to recognize that the school is not what it once was, but instead is a cesspool of destabilization and hatred for American values. Time to throw the brakes on Cal Poly.


commonsenseguy

I agree with you. I WAS a booster. I use to buy the produce and agriculture products including some of the best beef ribs money could buy. I no longer support any of it and know around a least a 100 in my circle who have done the same. I encourage other to drop any support of any kind to this hateful and now bigoted university.


mazin

This post speaks for itself.


commonsenseguy

There’s no controversy here. The hapless racist professor is a complete idiot. He obviously, like most of his ilk, don’t know the history of the flag. You would think that a college professor would do a little research before spewing such divisive and hateful rhetoric. Once again the fascist faculty at this sickening bigoted university show their true colors. Who really cares about any of their foolish narcissist opinions. It makes one want gather up hundreds of people with flags and drive slowly through the campus of Cal(fascist)Poly. Go buy them, fly them proudly, and show support for those who put their lives on the line for all of us everyday, including this lost soul who appears to have hate for them.


fullofbeans

Does he not realize there are cops that are also people of color? Trying to tell everything how ignorant they are when he in fact is the ignorant one.


commonsenseguy

Bingo! You nailed it!


copperhead

It’s ok to say, “Hey Scott, stfu”.


Fleet

So does he find the thin green, orange, silver, white, red, yellow, gold, purple, camo, rainbow, black, gray line flags as being racist also?