CLEVELAND (WJW) — There is controversy surrounding a Thin Blue Line flag on I-90 honoring fallen Cleveland police officer David Fahey.
The Ohio Department of Transportation received a complaint about the flag saying it’s a safety hazard. But some suggest the flag is political.
It’s been five years since officer Fahey was struck and killed by a hit-and-run driver on I-90 near Lakewood.
Some say the pro-police Thin Blue Line statement grew during the Trump administration, when supporters pushed a message of Blue Lives Matter, countering the Black Lives Matter movement.
Calls to take down the flag coming just months after the Fahey family removed a larger, wooden sign at the same memorial post.
ODOT says they contacted the family asking them to remove it because they have rules against attaching anything to their signs, stressing it creates a safety hazard. But the family tells FOX 8 they believe the request is politically motivated, especially since the identity of the person who filed the complaint has not been revealed.
“They are using a legitimate rule to remove the flag, but that rule is not being evenly distributed over every flag and every sign on the highway,” Fahey’s brother Christopher Porter says. “So when they say ‘oh, it’s a safety hazard you have to take it down,’ that’s not true. It is based on this complaint, which is a political bias.”
ODOT releasing a statement to FOX 8: “On May 23, Cleveland.com/ Plain Dealer reached out to ODOT about a flag attached to the Officer Fahey Memorial along I-90. Cleveland.com/Plain Dealer asked when the flag would be removed. Because of this complaint, ODOT has contacted Officer Fahey’s family and asked that it be removed. ODOT trusts the family will remove the flag in the near future and considers this issue closed.”
Porter says the family has no plans to remove the flag.