Removal of ‘Thin Blue Line’ Sticker From Coral Springs Restaurant an Act of “Hate,” Police Lodge Says

{Courtesy Gyroville Coral Springs}

By Kevin Deutsch

The owners of Gyroville in Coral Springs this week released a video of two people they said peeled a ‘Thin Blue Line’ flag sticker off the front of their business.

The sticker of the controversial symbol was removed on Aug. 7 from the restaurant’s front door at 1750 N. University Dr., which is owned by former NYPD officers Irving and Maria Rodriguez.

Originally from New York City, the Rodriguezes served in the police department and responded to the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks on the World Trade Center. Their restaurant is popular with first responders, all of who receive a discount.

“I wanted to show this video of the person(s) that removed the blue line American Flag from our store door,” the couple wrote on the Gyroville Coral Springs Facebook page. “It’s disheartening to see an adult watch the child with him remove the flag and continue to walk away.”

A man is seen with a female who peels off the sticker in the footage. It is not clear whether she is an adult or a child.

“It’s like telling the child it’s OK to take property and the American flag if you don’t like,” the restaurant owners wrote. “This is what society is teaching the younger generation. It’s very sad but real.”

The  Thin Blue Line flag, a variation on the United States’ official red, white, and blue flag, is displayed by many who work in law enforcement and their supporters.

It has also been displayed by white supremacists and other extremists, appearing at the 2017 ‘Unite the Right’ rally in Charlottesville, VA, and at the Jan. 6 attack on the Capitol in Washington D.C.

In their own Facebook post, Coral Springs Fraternal Order of Police Lodge 87 said the motive for the sticker’s removal was “hate.”

“Upsetting to see this in Coral Springs,” the lodge’s post reads. “This theft wasn’t committed for personal gain; it was committed out of hate! We are proud to have the owners of Gyroville Coral Springs- two of NYPD’s finest who responded to 9/11 – Irving and Maria Rodriguez as members of FOP Lodge 87. Thank you for all you do for our community!”

Since the sticker’s removal, Gyroville has received multiple flags and sticker batches from residents showing their support.

“We want to thank the community for all the support you have showed us…If you support us and law enforcement, please come by and get a sticker,” the restaurant owners wrote on Facebook.

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Author Profile

Kevin Deutsch

Kevin Deutsch
Kevin Deutsch is an award-winning crime journalist and author. A graduate of Florida International University, Kevin has worked on staff at The Miami Herald, New York Daily News, and The Palm Beach Post.

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