Black & Puerto Rican Caucus requests pro-police artwork be reinstalled in Connecticut Capitol after controversial removal
A wooden "Thin Blue Line" flag display will be restored to the Connecticut State Capitol after its controversial removal.
The artwork, which honors police officers, was removed last week from the building after reportedly offending minority groups and Black Lives Matter.
What are the details?
According to WTIC-TV, Democratic state Rep. Brandon McGee — who is also chairman of the Black and Puerto Rican Caucus — requested that the wooden sign be hung back up in the State Capitol building.
Initially, McGee said that he received several requests from his constituents to have the wooden wall sign removed as some people believed it was inappropriate and offensive.
McGee said that after having several conversations with John Krupinsky — who is president of the Connecticut State Fraternal Order of Police — he believed that there had been a simple misunderstanding that ultimately caused the sign to be removed.
"I hope this conversation does not stop today," McGee said. "Hopefully, we can put this behind us and really work on issues that are facing the state."
Krupinsky clarified that there should be no confusion.
"Thin Blue Line was out way before Black Lives Matter, Blue Lives Matter, any of these associations," Krupinsky insisted. "I was glad we were able to reach out and speak to each other on this matter."
A statement from the House Republican Caucus read in part:
On behalf of the House Republican Caucus we would like to make it clear that we stand with our State Capitol Police and support their donation of the handmade American Flag, created by one of their own officers. This flag is a source of pride and unity for not only our police unit here at the Capitol, but their families, and the families of those in law enforcement around the State of Connecticut.
In January, the State Capitol Police Department shared a Facebook post about the handmade wooden sign, which had been donated with an intent to hang in the Capitol building.
"The State Capitol Police Department donated a thin blue line flag which now hangs next to a portrait of the Connecticut Law Enforcement Memorial at the State Capitol," the post read. "SCPD will never forget the loss of officers who paid the ultimate sacrifice and their families."
The sign hung for about a month before it started stirring controversy.
"In the context of history behind it, a lot of my members expressed a lot of concerns, especially in this building," McGee said at the time. "We are not anti, you know, police, we support our men in blue — but we also know that given the history around black people, people of color with respect to this particular issue. I just think it was necessary to share our concerns with our leadership."