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LAPD Investigates Whether July 4 Call Outs Were 'Blue Flu' Protest

A car passing by LAPD, Downtown LA

By    |   Wednesday, 08 July 2020 04:48 PM

The Los Angeles Police Department is looking into whether an uptick of officers who called in sick over the Fourth of July weekend was an orchestrated protest known as a "blue flu," the Los Angeles Times reports.

A "blue flu" is the nickname given to a planned protest by cops who are fed up about a situation. 

Over the weekend, sources told the newspaper that as many as 300 officers called in sick. Some anti-gang units saw everyone or nearly everyone calling in sick at once, the sources said.

Before the call outs took place, a letter obtained by the newspaper, circulated among rank-and-file officers last week urging them to protect their interests amid budget cuts and calls for police reform.

"They succeeded in defunding the police; what do you think is next? Our pay? Our benefits? Our pensions?" the letter stated. "You're God Damn right all those things are in jeopardy now. We have to send the city a clear message that we are not expendable and we are not going to take this crap anymore."

LAPD Chief Michel Moore said the calls out could have been organized, but also said coronavirus could be to blame.

"Rather than jumping to conclusions and indicting and impugning the integrity of our rank and file, I'm asking that we explore this," he told the newspaper. "We want to find the facts out before we start making sweeping judgments."

He said anyone who participated in a "blue flu" call out would be guilty of misconduct and face consequences. Moore did not indicate when the internal investigation into the matter would be completed.

He said he was aware a "blue flu" sick day was possibly in the works. He said the department had increased staff ahead of the holiday weekend, but it was not because of any alleged planned protest.

LA saw a surge in shootings and fireworks complaints over the weekend, according to the newspaper. 

The Los Angeles Police Protective League, which represents rank-and-file officers on labor issues, said it emailed members asking them not to participate in any protest action.

"We have heard some unsubstantiated rumors of a potential 'Blue Flu' where officers would coordinate to call in sick for the same day. We urge you to not take this action," the league wrote in an email. "The Board of Directors of the Los Angeles Police Protective League unequivocally condemns any attempt to engage in a 'Blue Flu.' It is wrong, it is illegal, and it is contrary to the oath we all took as police officers to protect our community."

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Amid reports of an orchestrated protest known as a "blue flu," the Los Angeles Police Department is looking into the uptick of officers who called in sick over the Fourth of July weekend, according to the Los Angeles Times.
lapd, blue flu, police, protests, defund the police, july 4, protest
Wednesday, 08 July 2020 04:48 PM
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