For the past couple of years our nation has been having a hard conversation about law enforcement and the ways it interacts with the communities it polices. It has been difficult, with lines being drawn and people taking up sides, often to the detriment of the actual conversation.
Well, we just found a business owner in Texas who is not afraid to let the whole world know exactly where she stands. Ad even better, she is helping anyone who wants to show their pride and support in law enforcement, where it loud and proud as well. You are going to love her simple solution.
April Killingsworth is the owner of a sign company in Texas called Tangental Signs. After a seemingly endless barrage of stories in the media of police abuses and officer related deaths, and the accompanying public outcry, she became fed up and decided to make a small gesture demonstrating her feelings concerning her local cops.
Using some blue decal remnants, she fashioned a simple design to be placed on her vehicle’s rear window. Then she went to Facebook and posted the picture along with a statement and a challenge: She offered to decorate anyone else’s vehicle with the stripe to send a message to cops and those who would disparage them that the driver was a supporter of the badge.
“When we first posted it, it was kind of a sporadic thing that morning. I asked my employee to cut a few blue stripes, and he asked how many and I told him five. We’ll be lucky if five people even show up.”
She had no idea how popular this simple sign and the sentiment it expressed would become. Car after car rolled up in front of her sign shop and pretty soon the streets were filled with be-striped vehicles. At a point, other people started posting pictures of their own cars featuring the distinctive design until it became a social media phenomenon.
People have taken to social media and the internet to share their opinions on the “Thin Blue Line” projects, saying things like:
Love the idea, we need to show more support to our officers. The idea that all police are corrupt is a pathetic excuse to act out. If black lives matter really want to crack down on death rates they will stop killing each other. Last year 89% of the black deaths were caused by other black people. Statistics are a wonderful thing.”- Scott Stiffler
“if you have a fear of the police it is bred from a history, or future, in crime. the citizen that has done no wrong does not fear, but supports the police that protect our way of life in the homefront.”- Brian York242
“those who chose not to support must be doing criminal activities.”- Roger Roy 507
Of course, with this being the internet and all, not everyone is so gung ho about the symbolism or sentiment behind the blue tape…
“I support the police, but I would like you to just stop killing people who are running away, on the ground, handcuffed, unarmed sleeping in their house, serving no knock warrants on non-violent criminals, shooting dogs and lying to cover it up. You could just treat people like they are innocent until tried in court. The thin blue line is one cops don’t cross to rat each other out for being corrupt.”- Nathan Decker406
“This is hysterically funny. The “thin blue line” stands for intra-police solidarity in the same vein as mafia solidarity — their willingness to see themselves as set-apart from the public and unaccountable to the public. It emphasizes and furthers the unwritten rule that exists among police officers not to see or report on a colleague’s errors, not to report misconducts and / or to ignore or cover up crimes committed by other police personnel.
The term is directly derivative of “The Blue Wall of Silence” or the “Blue Code” initially most well-known for characterizing the corrupt actions of NY cops — whose reputations were inadvertently raised by deaths during 9/11, but previous to that had been widely thought of as extremely corrupt and blatantly willing to lie to protect fellow officers.
The “blue line” is BETWEEN them (the police) and you (the public [good and bad]), not between the police & public, and the “bad guys”.
Like cops or don’t, could care less. But the symbol that you’re using is like shouting “Whoo, Mafia solidarity over the people!”- Dex Sinister
What are your thoughts on Ms. Killingsworth’s project? Share your opinions with us here.