‘Absolutely shameful’: Connecticut town council sparks outrage after it refuses to fly Thin Blue Line flag to honor slain state trooper

‘Absolutely shameful’: Connecticut town council sparks outrage after it refuses to fly Thin Blue Line flag to honor slain state trooper
The Wethersfield Town Council voted down the request to raise the Thin Blue Line flag as a tribute to Connecticut State Trooper First Class Aaron Pelletier, 34, who tragically lost his life in the line of duty (Connecticut State Police, Getty Images)

NEW YORK CITY, NEW YORK: The decision of a largely Democratic Connecticut town council to reject the request to fly the Thin Blue Line flag in honor of a slain state trooper has ignited controversy within the community.

The Wethersfield Town Council faced heated debate over the proposal to raise the flag, a symbol traditionally flown to show support for law enforcement officers. Council Member Rich Bailey (R) advocated for the Thin Blue Line flag to be raised over the town hall as a tribute to Connecticut State Trooper First Class Aaron Pelletier, 34, who tragically lost his life in the line of duty during a traffic stop last week.

 Trooper First Class Aaron Pelletier (Connecticut State Police, Connecticut)
State Trooper First Class Aaron Pelletier (Connecticut State Police)

However, the measure failed to garner enough votes during Tuesday's, June 4, council meeting, with three members in favor, five against, and one abstent. The council comprises six Democrats and three Republicans.

Instead of the "thin blue line" flag, the LGBTQ pride flag, already hoisted for Pride Month, and other flags such as the American flag and the state flag were flown at half-mast. 



 

“All we are doing is trying to respect a fallen police officer,” Bailey expressed. “In my home, [the “thin blue line” flag] means police, and they protect us, and they are our first line of defense,” he added. “They always are, and they’re always here, and they’re always for us,” he said, as reported by WTNH News 8.

Council members who opposed the flag raised concerns about its perceived connotations of divisiveness and racism. “It represents racism and antagonism to many, many people,” Emily Zambrello (D) highlighted.

“And if you don’t personally believe that, and you fly at your own house and you think it means something to you, that is much more positive — it’s just not how many people feel about it."

“It’s not appropriate to raise it over our town hall, especially when our flag policy prohibits us from doing anything associated with hate.”

Significance of Thin Blue Line flag

The 'hin Blue Line American flag symbolizes support for law enforcement officers who risk their lives daily to safeguard our communities. It serves as a poignant emblem of compassion and solidarity with our nation's police force.

The term "Thin Blue Line" is synonymous with "police" and "law enforcement", signifying their crucial role in upholding order and safety, often at great personal risk. Visually, it is depicted in two main variations: either as a single, centered blue line against a black background, or as a blue stripe on an American flag, positioned just beneath the stars, according to Thin Blue Line.

In both renditions, the black space above the blue line signifies society, order, and peace, while the black below represents crime, anarchy, and chaos. The Thin Blue Line serves as a symbolic barrier, preventing the intrusion of crime into society, and symbolizes the essential role of law enforcement in maintaining public safety.

Alternative flag proposal sparks debate amid mourning for fallen trooper

Mayor Ken Lesser, who voted against the proposal, explained that an alternative option, the first responders' flag, was suggested to honor the fallen trooper.

“The first responders’ flag recognizes all the first responders — police, fire, emergency management. The blue line flag was designed for police officers and it goes back over 100 years, but now it has been used by White supremacists and many police groups have disavowed that flag,” he said.

Bailey, however, rejected the first responders' flag as a substitute, underscoring his personal connection to law enforcement through his father's service as a police officer.

The decision of the town council has sparked outrage and divided opinions within the community. The rejection of the flag comes amid mourning for Trooper Pelletier, whose funeral service witnessed thousands paying their respects. His widow delivered a heartfelt tribute, reminiscing their cherished moments together and pledging to keep his memory alive for their two young sons.

“To my honey, you weren’t just my husband,” his wife Dominique claimed. “You were my home. You were my heart. You were my safe place and my provider. My best friend. My secret keeper. My favorite gossiper."

“The light in our smiles will be forever dimmed and the thought of this world without that laugh seems unimaginable but has already become real. I promise to keep you alive in our home, in our heart and in our boys’ memories forever. I love you, and I miss you.”

Internet reacts to town council's decision

The Wethersfield Town Council’s vote not to fly the Thin Blue Line flag ahead of a fallen trooper’s funeral has drawn ire online.

A user tweeted, "It’s pretty embarrassing."

Another added, "Disgraceful."

"I don’t think it’s their job to fly a special flag (including and especially the rainbow flaf, but also the thin blue line flag). Lowering US flags to half staff should be done however, and would be a proper gesture for an officer who gave his life serving our communities," a third added.

"Absolutely shameful," stated a user.

"Very un-American," chimed another.



 



 



 



 



 

This article contains remarks made on the Internet by individual people and organizations. MEAWW cannot confirm them independently and does not support claims or opinions being made online.

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