Connecticut town refuses to fly 'antagonistic' 'thin blue line' flag to honor fallen trooper

A Democrat-led town council in Connecticut refused to fly the "thin blue line" flag to honor a state trooper who was killed in the line of duty, with one member calling it "antagonistic."

Members of the Wethersfield Town Council turned down the bid to fly the "thin blue line" in a 5 to 3 vote after a spirited debate on the flags, saying that the flag had "white supremacist" and "antagonistic" ties.

In a recording of the town council meeting, Democratic Councilmember Emily Zambrello is heard saying that the flag was "viewed as antagonistic."

"That flag was either created or at least became prevalent in direct response to the Black Lives Matter protests," Zambrello said. "It’s viewed as antagonistic even if you don’t see it that way and I don’t think that’s a good flag to fly, especially not without further discussion."

In an interview, the Mayor of Wethersfield, Ken Lesser, suggested that the flag had racist ties.

"It is now being used by white supremacist groups and other far-right types of groups," Lesser said. "And even many police departments around the country and in Connecticut have said that 'we don't authorize to use that flag'."

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Thin Blue Line Flag
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The disagreement began after 34-year-old Connecticut State Trooper First Class Aaron Pelletier was killed in a routine traffic stop – leaving behind a wife and two young boys.

Republican Council Member Rich Bailey suggested the town raise the "thin blue line" flag over town hall in honor of Pelletier's sacrifice – immediately commanding outrage from the majority Democrats on the council.

Trooper First Class Aaron Pelletier
Trooper First Class Aaron Pelletier was killed when he was struck by a hit-and-run driver during a traffic stop on Interstate 84 in Southington, Connecticut on May 30, 2024.

The thin blue line is a symbol that represents the police officers who separate order from chaos, according to Thin Blue Line USA, a company that sells merchandise featuring the flag supporting law enforcement, veterans and first responders.

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"The thin blue line flag is flown to show support for our heroes in law enforcement and serves as a consoling reminder they will always be there to protect us," the Thin Blue Line USA website notes. "For those who walk it, the thin blue line is a reflection of courage, a pledge of brotherhood and a tribute to those who have fallen in the line of duty."

Connecticut State Police First Class Trooper Aaron Pelletier
Connecticut State Police First Class Trooper Aaron Pelletier, who was killed in a hit-and-run on May 30, was laid to rest on June 5, 2024.

In a statement to Fox News Digital, Republican Councilmember Brianna Timbro said that she is "incredibly disheartened with this situation."

"There were so many ways this could have been handled and the way it was, in my opinion, is not only disrespectful to TFC Aaron Pelletier and his family but law enforcement across our nation."

The disagreement about raising the "thin blue line" flag came after the council had scheduled to raise the Pride flag in honor of LGBT Pride Month.

"They had already scheduled the raising of the Pride flag on the 4th," Timbro said. "During that ceremony State Rep. Amy Morrin-Bello (D) said something along the lines of showing respect for TFC Aaron Pelletier by not raising the Pride flag but instead putting it at half-mast."

A photo of a thin blue line flag
A thin blue line flag, signaling support for law enforcement is displayed.

Democratic Councilmember Miki Duric told Fox News Digital that his disagreement about raising the "thin blue line" flag was due more to current policies rather than the flag itself.

"I haven’t made any comments on the actual flag, my comments were in regard to our current policy, procedures of how we get to vote on any flag," he said.

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Duric referred Fox News Digital to his recent Facebook post, writing that Councilmember Bailey knew that the town's policy said that special flag requests were required to be made 30 days prior to the meeting, noting that he allegedly failed to do so.

"Our flag policy was adopted in February of 2024 and this meeting showed that it’s not a perfect policy. It showed that we need to amend it and allow some flags to be flown on short notice. I was personally involved in creating our current policy and I will get involved in amending it," he said.

Trooper First Class Aaron Pelletier, his wife, Dominique and their two sons.
Trooper First Class Aaron Pelletier, his wife, Dominique and their two sons.

On June 5, more than 1,500 people said goodbye to Pelletier at the funeral at the Xfinity Theatre in Hartford.

Pelletier's wife, Dominique Pelletier, spoke at the funeral, recalling her husband's sacrifice.

"The light in our smiles will be forever dimmed," she said. "You weren't just my husband, you were my home. You were my heart ... my best friend, my secret keeper."

"He balanced the demands of his profession with the needs of his family and never let one overshadow the other," Dominique said.

Fox News Digital has reached out to Mayor Lesser for comment.


Original article source: Connecticut town refuses to fly 'antagonistic' 'thin blue line' flag to honor fallen trooper