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Los Angeles-area police unions are calling out attempts to hijack the phrase and symbol “thin blue line” for hate and intolerance.

The Association for Los Angeles Deputy Sheriffs (ALADS) in a statement on Monday joined with the United Coalition of Public Safety (UCOPS) to denounce extremists, the Daily News reports.

“I’ve seen photos, and I’m seeing it on television through the news,” said Robert Sass, vice president for ALADS and a deputy for the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department. “Some of the hate groups are draping themselves in the flag. Some are carrying flags. Those flags refer to the ‘thin blue line’ that police officers use to symbolize police work. It’s something that’s been around for quite awhile and is used by police officers.”

A “thin blue line” symbol was created to allow the community to show support for law enforcement, and those attempting to hijack the symbol for their own purposes (“hate groups such as the neo-Nazis, White Supremacists or the KKK”) are “despicable and most certainly do not represent the values for which that symbol stands,” the joint statement said.

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