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San Francisco police chief bans officers from wearing 'thin blue line' face masks

San Francisco police chief bans officers from wearing 'thin blue line' face masks
Posted at 10:14 AM, May 04, 2020
and last updated 2020-05-04 13:14:28-04

SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — San Francisco’s police chief said the city’s rank and file will wear neutral face coverings to defuse a controversy that was sparked when officers sent to patrol a protest wore masks adorned with the “thin blue line” flag.

Chief Bill Scott told his officers in an email Friday he considered the blue flag and stripe “a meaningful expression to honor fallen officers.” However, he worried that some may perceive the symbol as “divisive and disrespectful.”

The police union ordered and distributed the masks emblazoned with a dark blue flag that resembles the American flag with a blue stripe across the middle.

The symbol is associated with the Blue Lives Matter movement, a display of unity among police officers in response to the national Black Lives Matter movement.