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Retired Florida Sheriff’s Deputy Flies ‘Blue Lives Matter’ Flag. HOA Tells Him To Pull It Down.
A demonstrator holds a "Thin Blue Line" flag and a sign in support of police during a protest outside the Governors Mansion on June 27, 2020 in St Paul, Minnesota.
Photo by Stephen Maturen/Getty Images

A retired Florida County Sheriff’s Deputy who flew a “Blue Lives Matter” flag over his garage was told by his homeowners’ association to take it down.

The homeowners association sent a “violation notice” to Sean Kennedy that stated, “During a recent inspection, it was noted that you have an improper flag displayed on your property. While we support your patriotism, the American flag does need to be the traditional American flag. No lawn ornaments or freestanding flagpoles shall be placed or maintained on any Lot without the prior approval of the Architectural Review Committee. Please have this violation corrected within 14 days from the date of this letter. If the violation is not corrected within this timeframe, further action will be taken.”

Kennedy, a Pasco County Sheriff’s Deputy who has served 25 years on the police force, lives with his wife and kids in in New Port Richey. He told WFLA, “People don’t really understand that flag. It’s nothing to do with police. It’s police that have been killed. The meaning of the flag is to support police that have been killed. Not police that are active right now working. “

James Adams, a neighbor of Kennedy’s, was perturbed by the HOA order, saying, “I understand that there are certain guidelines and bylaws that we all follow in our neighborhoods. But that’s a little much.”

Kennedy stated that someone with the homeowner’s association had complained. He said he has had the flag up for years, WFLA reported. Kennedy added, “I think it’s self-explanatory what’s going on in the world. The hatred of the police because of one horrible action by a guy in Minnesota just tarnishing everybody.” Pointing out that a number of his neighbors supported his position, he added, “I’m not taking it down. It’s something I’ve worked for for 25 years and I believe in, so, and it’s definitely not racist; it’s definitely not hatred. It’s a tribute to law enforcement officers and firefighters who died.”

In January 2019, a group of University of California, Davis students took offense at a photograph of a 22-year-old female police officer who was shot to death on January 10. In the photo, which was taken from a series taken in 2016, officer Natalie Corona was holding a “Thin Blue Line” flag.

As Todd Starnes of Fox News reported, California photographer Rich Laus took the pictures, in which Corona wore a blue gown as she carried the flag. Corona posted one on Facebook with the caption, “I would like this photograph to serve as my gratitude for all of those law enforcement men and women who have served, who are currently serving, and those who have died in the line of duty protecting our liberties in this great country.”

But the Associated Students, UC-Davis Ethnic and Cultural Affairs Commission, objected. In a post from a Facebook page that has since been deleted, they wrote, “The flag is blatantly anti-Black and disrespectful … We see it necessary to call-out all community members who continue to post and disseminate images of the Blue Lives Matter flag online. We would like to directly address that this flag represents an attempt by law enforcement to undermine the Black Lives Matter movement.”

The Sacramento Bee reported that Corona was on patrol alone on the evening of January 10, 2019. On the scene of a three-car collision near downtown Davis, she was in the midst of giving one of the motorists their driver’s license back when her 48-year-old assailant, who was riding his bicycle, left his bicycle in the shadows, then neared Corona and shot Corona in the neck, then continued shooting her after she had fallen to the ground.

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