Connecticut town council refuses to fly ‘thin blue line’ flag for trooper killed in line of duty

A largely Democratic Connecticut town council has sparked controversy after it refused to fly the “thin blue line” flag for a state trooper killed in the line of duty last week.

The Wethersfield Town Council voted down the request to raise the flag — traditionally flown to support police — claiming that to some people, it represents divisiveness and racism.

Council Member Rich Bailey (R) suggested the town raise the “thin blue line” flag over town hall in honor of Connecticut State Trooper First Class Aaron Pelletier, 34, who was killed by a hit-and-run driver during a traffic stop last week.

The Wethersfield Town Council voted down the request to raise the “thin blue line” flag, claiming that to some people, it represents divisiveness and racism. AP

But the measure did not get enough votes to pass at Tuesday’s council meeting — with three in favor, five against, and one abstention.

The council is made up of six Democrats and three Republicans.

Instead, the LGBTQ pride flag, which was already raised for pride month, the month of June, and other flags like 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 told WTNH News 8.

“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.”

But other council members said the flag has taken on new meaning in recent years.

Instead, an LGBTQ+ flag which was already raised for Pride month, June, and other flags were lowered to half-mast to honor fallen trooper Aaron Pelletier. WTNH

“It represents racism and antagonism to many, many people,” Emily Zambrello (D) told the local news station. “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.”

Wethersfield Mayor Ken Lesser, who was among the no votes, said that they offered an alternative option to the “thing blue line” flag, the first responders’ flag, in order 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.”

Bailey — who is a retired fire chief and whose father was a police officer — wouldn’t accept the first responders’ flag as a replacement.

Pelletier leaves behind his wife and two young sons. AP

Pelletier, the trooper who was killed by an allegedly drugged-up driver, was laid to rest Wednesday with thousands in attendance at his funeral service.

His widow and the mother of his two young sons gave a tearful tribute to her husband at the ceremony.

“To my honey, you weren’t just my husband,” his wife Dominique said. “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,” she said. “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.”

With Post wires

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