Cleveland NAACP president reacts to Chardon ‘Thin Blue Line’ flag controversy

Updated: Sep. 2, 2020 at 9:00 PM EDT
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CHARDON, Ohio (WOIO) - After the Chardon High School football team brought a Thin Blue Line flag on the field last Friday, the superintendent banned the flags because they are seen as a political statement.

Many were upset with the move. “Shame on him,” said one former student.

However, Cleveland NAACP President Danielle Sydnor calls the flag divisive and said she understands why many would be offended to see it flown.

The controversy surrounding the thin blue line flag has been known to fan the flames between pro-police supporters and Black Lives Matter activists.

“It has become very divisive because instead of saying ‘police lives matter’ it becomes pitted against each other. If you say ‘Black Lives Matter,’ then the retort is blue lives matter.”

She says opposing the flag is not an indictment of police officers but a call to understand the Black Lives Matter conversation. “We’re just trying to get people to step back from their raw emotions and to think a little more about what they’re saying when they make the statements.”

Sydnor said, “I do believe there are some individuals who are just saying it’s not fair to make it seem like all police are bad, but that demonstrates they’re not understanding the call and outcry from community when we talk about Black Lives Matter.”

Sydnor said there are ways to support law enforcement and it’s important to do so. Adding she’s been having conversations with minority officers over what they face on a daily basis. She said “there needs to be messages of support for law enforcement,” but calls this a teachable moment. “You can either attach yourself to something destructive or create your own messaging to say we understand why we’re in this moment and we also support our law enforcement.”

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