A symbol is banned for making people feel unsafe. But police aren’t the real danger to urban dwellers.
The village of Mount Prospect, Ill., prohibited its police officers earlier this month from wearing a “thin blue line” patch on their uniforms. The patch consists of a black-and-white U.S. flag with one blue stripe. It honors fallen cops and recognizes the role police play in protecting society from anarchy. Detractors insist the symbol makes people of color feel unsafe. Police chiefs and elected officials in San Francisco, Middletown and Manchester, Conn., and elsewhere have banned it.
While Mount Prospect was grappling with threatening police patches, in nearby Chicago the police were dealing with actual violence—against officers and civilians. Three days before the anti-patch vote, Officer Ella French was killed by a bullet to her head during a traffic stop. French and her two partners had pulled over an SUV for expired registration tags. One of the SUV’s occupants, 21-year-old Emonte Morgan, allegedly fought with the officers and opened fire, killing French and critically wounding one of her partners with bullets to the brain, eye and shoulder. Mr. Morgan was on probation for a recent robbery conviction, which a Chicago Tribune story characterizes as not a “serious” crime. His brother Eric, who was driving the SUV, was on probation for a theft conviction.
Heather Mac Donald is the Thomas W. Smith fellow at the Manhattan Institute, contributing editor at City Journal, and the author of the bestselling War on Cops and The Diversity Delusion. Follow her on Twitter here.
Staff photo by Ben McCanna/Portland Portland Press Herald via Getty Images