On Monday, a Jacksonville, Florida city inspector walked into a Cedar Hills Estate business that had flags flying above the building to honor the different branches of the U.S. military and issued a warning citation to the business, then allegedly told a veteran protesting her action, “You did nothing for this country.”
At roughly noon on Monday, city inspector Melinda Power entered Jaguar Power Sports after seeing two United States flags, a Jacksonville Jaguars flag and flags representing each branch of the military flying atop the building and issued the citation, arguing that they violated the city code.
Store manager Marcy Moyer said later, “We cater to our men and women, both retired and active military, so it was personal. We felt like it was a personal attack.” Employees asserted that the veteran, a customer, got upset. Surveillance video shows Power getting in the veteran’s face and arguing.
Store employee Katie Klasse recalled, “She says, ‘What did you do for this country?’ He says, ‘I took three bullets to the leg. I almost lost my life for this country. I’m retired. I’m a veteran.’ She gets in his face this close and says, ‘You did nothing for this country.’”
Employees told News4Jax that Power became so disruptive she was asked to leave.
Moyer concluded, “The way she handled the situation was terrible.”
When Jacksonville mayor Lenny Curry was informed about the incident, he tweeted:
Curry’s chief of staff, Brian Hughes told News4Jax:
We are disturbed by some of the claims made about a City employee and are reviewing the facts. We are also reviewing the current ordinances regarding flags and signs to ensure accurate information was shared. The business was issued a warning, and was not fined. Warnings are issued to provide property owners information about a possible violation, and corrective action. I have contacted the dealership and provided the owner with the mayor’s contact information for them to discuss directly. Mayor Curry and his administration respect and appreciate those in uniform who have served and continue to serve our community, and our country.
Power’s supervisor was at Jaguar Power Sports when the incident occurred. The store posted a video regarding the incident.
The Blaze reported, “City Hall was inundated with calls about the citation, the station said, adding that of 50 calls taken in the first hour of business, most wanted the inspector fired.”
Many military veterans were furious:
Dan Arbour: “They’re flying a flag on their building and it’s not out in the street. It’s not in the public right-of-way. All these flags represent people who lived, worked and died serving our country so we can do this. Somebody needs to school her on what the codes are. She doesn’t know what she’s talking about. We have the life we have because of these flags and the men who serve. I’ve got words for her that I can’t say on TV.”
Stephen Anthon: “I was very offended. If this business didn’t support veterans, I wouldn’t be here right now.”
Navy veteran Lanny Austin: “I was enraged. I’m retired Navy. My son’s retired Army. We put our butts out there and they pull this. I don’t like it. The way she handled herself was totally disrespectful.”