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Genesee County Commissioners split on thin blue line flag proposal

Updated: May. 12, 2021 at 11:33 PM EDT
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FLINT, Mich. (WJRT) -

Wednesday night controversy coming from the Genesee County Board of Commissioners meeting over a resolution to honor police officers.

The proposed resolution says all buildings in the county will be able to fly thin blue line flags in recognition of police appreciation month and to publicly salute the service of law enforcement officers in the community.

During public comment, the community shared why they were for and against the resolution,

“That flag represents police brutality to me,” said one community member.

“Some of you commissioners I understand claim that this is a racist flag well, that’s an insult,” added another Genesee County resident.

Commissioner Bryant Nolden of the 1st District stood in support with those opposed to flying the thin blue line flag at county buildings.

“I will be making an amendment to take out the flag with the thin blue line in it,” he said.

Noldan says that he is in support of law enforcement and the resolution itself but feels like adding the blue line flag will cause issues.

“I support police appreciation month, but I do not support it means that we got to fly this flag which I really feel is a symbol of hate,” added Nolden.

It’s something local Activists agree with,

“It became a political mantra During the Trump administration. So where now the Thin Blue Line associates or combats the message of black life actually mattering,” said Johnie Franklin III.

But Commissioner of the 6th District Shaun Shumaker says that’s not what this is about.

He’s one of the commissioners involved in the proposed resolution and says he’s disturbed by the way the resolution was handled during the meeting.

“The courtesy amongst commissioners is gone and this is where we are. So we brought Washington politics and Lansing politics to Genesee County and I’m just saddened by it,” said Shumaker.

After the discussion the board voted and now the resolution is being sent to the diversity, equity and inclusion community to be looked over.

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