CORAL SPRINGS, Fla. – The owners of a Gyroville restaurant in Coral Springs said someone peeled off the ‘thin blue line’ American flag sticker from their front door on Saturday, and want to know why.
“The manager came and said, ‘Oh, did you take away the blue line flag that you had there?’ And I said, ‘no, I didn’t,’” recalled owner Irving Rodriguez.
Rodriguez says he and his wife, Maria, reviewed surveillance video which appeared to show a young woman peeling the sticker off as a man looks on.
“It broke my heart,” Maria said.
The pair, who have a collection of police patches in the restaurant, say they were NYPD officers who responded during 9/11. Maria was a beat cop and Irving worked as a detective.
There’s been controversy over thin blue line imagery. Some activists believe it’s in opposition to racial justice or used as a means to intimidate.
But the Rodriguez’s see the flag as a symbol of those who make the ultimate sacrifice for unity.
“The blue line flag, what it means to us it, we’re law enforcement. We take care of our community,” Irving said.
“We’re living in a world right now that’s so divided,” Maria said, “and I wish everyone would know that cops do not wake up in the morning to hurt other people.”
They were not working when the sticker was removed on Saturday and don’t know who the young woman is.
They said would like to have a conversation.
“I would like to sit down and speak to her and find out what happened. Why?” Maria said.