Oregon county pays $100K over Blue Lives Matter flag

Combined Shape

PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) — An Oregon county has agreed to pay $100,000 to a black employee who sued alleging she was harassed after asking that a Blue Lives Matter flag not be displayed in the office.

Karimah Guion-Pledgure said in her January lawsuit against Multnomah County that the flag demeans the Black Lives Matter movement, The Oregonian/OregonLive reported Saturday. She said she was harassed by others in the office after she and other black co-workers complained.

The settlement, reached Thursday, was first reported by Portland’s alternative bi-weekly newspaper, The Portland Mercury.

Black Lives Matter is an activist movement formed in 2013 that campaigns against violence and systemic racism toward black people.

Proponents of Blue Lives Matter say it’s meant to support and honor the work and sacrifices of law enforcement officers. The Blue Lives Matter flag is a black-and-white American flag with a blue stripe replacing one white stripe in the middle. Thin Blue Line USA, which sells the flags, says the thin blue line represents offices in the line of duty and the black represents fallen officers.

Trending:
Biden Cancels Trump's 'Garden of American Heroes' and Ends Exec Order Protecting Monuments

Guion-Pledgure’s lawsuit said the Blue Lives Matter movement “co-opts” the Black Lives Matter movement and “repurposes it to shift focus to law enforcement — a chosen profession, not a racial identity — and thus denigrates, dilutes, and demeans the purpose of the Black Lives Matter movement.”

About a month before the probation officer put up the Blue Lives Matter flag in 2017, white supremacist demonstrators displayed that same flag alongside Confederate flags during a “Unite the Right” rally in Charlottesville, Virginia, the lawsuit notes.

One person died and dozens of others were injured when a man deliberately rammed his car into the crowd of counter-protesters. Members of Blue Lives Matter condemned the use of their flag at the rally.

After the probation officer’s flag had been on the wall for more than six months, Guion-Pledgure erected an “equity wall” that displayed photos of minorities killed by police, the suit stated.

Managers told her to take down the photos, the lawsuit says, but she refused because the Blue Lives Matter flag remained.

That same day, Guion-Pledgure found two sticky notes affixed to her equity wall reading “Thanks a lot” and “Bitch,” according to the lawsuit.

Guion-Pledgure alleged that her supervisor in the Department of Community Justice didn’t require the flag to be taken down and the conflict caused her extreme stress and health issues.

A week later, managers responded with a new rule that all personal photos displayed needed to be smaller than 5-by-7 inches (13-by-18 centimeters), according to the suit.

Managers are now developing a countywide policy on personal displays of photos and other items in response to the lawsuit, said Multnomah County spokeswoman Jessica Morkert-Shibley.

Related:
China Lands on Mars for the 1st Time in Another Step Forward for Its Space Program

As part of the agreement, Guion-Pledgure had to resign by Friday but can reapply for a county job.

“She’s disappointed that she has to leave there and that they couldn’t make it a safe and welcoming work environment,” said her attorney, Ashlee Albies. “They say they’re working on that, and we hope they really are.”

Guion-Pledgure had worked for the department since 2011 as a corrections technician.

She originally sought $420,000 in the lawsuit.

The Western Journal has not reviewed this Associated Press story prior to publication. Therefore, it may contain editorial bias or may in some other way not meet our normal editorial standards. It is provided to our readers as a service from The Western Journal.

Truth and Accuracy

Submit a Correction →






We are committed to truth and accuracy in all of our journalism. Read our editorial standards.

Tags:
Combined Shape
The Associated Press is an independent, not-for-profit news cooperative headquartered in New York City. Their teams in over 100 countries tell the world’s stories, from breaking news to investigative reporting. They provide content and services to help engage audiences worldwide, working with companies of all types, from broadcasters to brands.
The Associated Press was the first private sector organization in the U.S. to operate on a national scale. Over the past 170 years, they have been first to inform the world of many of history's most important moments, from the assassination of Abraham Lincoln and the bombing of Pearl Harbor to the fall of the Shah of Iran and the death of Pope John Paul.

Today, they operate in 263 locations in more than 100 countries relaying breaking news, covering war and conflict and producing enterprise reports that tell the world's stories.
Location
New York City




Conversation