The New Swastika: Behind the ‘Thin Blue Line’ flag: America’s history of police violence

Police continue to operate under layers of legal impunity and institutional protections.


A little more than a week before the jury delivered its verdict in the trial of former Minneapolis police Officer Derek Chauvin for the murder of George Floyd, and about 10 miles from the Hennepin County Government Center where Chauvin sat on trial, 20-year-old Daunte Wright was fatally shot by an officer during a traffic stop. That week, a “Thin Blue Line” flag was raised defiantly above the Brooklyn Center Police Department building in Minnesota.

The Thin Blue Line flag dates back only to 2014.

Its hoisting marked the end of a night of violently suppressed protests of the killing of the 20-year-old, a young Black father who had been pulled over, his mother said, because police had seen air fresheners dangling from his rearview mirror and had been shot in the chest by veteran Officer Kim Potter, former president of the city’s police union.

The Thin Blue Line flag dates back only to 2014. It’s the brainchild of a white college student from an affluent suburb of Detroit, Andrew Jacob, who found the outcry against police violence following the killings of Tamir Rice in Cleveland, Eric Garner in New York and Michael Brown in Ferguson, Missouri, distasteful. The protests, he felt, lacked reverence for the police and were awash in animus against them.  read more…

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  1. The problem is not just the police. It’s the judiciary who gave them free reign and dream up all kinds of evil to inflict on the (non-white) population, in cahoots with RepubliKlan politicians. Rehnquist was being blackmailed by Daddy Bush, all of that “jurisprudence” would have to be thrown out for true justice to “rage like a river”. The police are only the visible fist of this right-wing grouping whose leaders ended up duping them by being involved in 911. Evil dummies. Their true enemy was right in front of them the whole time the RethugliKlan was on the rampage worldwide with this KKKKrazy idea that Murka should rule the world.

  2. Recommend “The History of Policing in the United States” by Dr. Gary Potter of Eastern Kentucky U., a brief 6-part read easily found online. Might dampen your optimism for the promise of police reform, though.

  3. In the early seventies, my (Norwegian) professor of Peace Studies rode into Ann Arbour Michigan by train. He was to deliver a lecture, and he walked the few cilometer onto the Campus. His friends and listeners were aghast: “How were You that nonchallant?!”. Didn’t You know that if You were spotted by the police, they would hoale You in and examine You?”
    This was just three or five Years i had myself visited Ann Arbour without anyone adviseng me not to walk alióne for fear of annoying “The Fuzz”, .. What can have heppened to Amerika in those years betwwen 1966 and 1972???

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