For several weeks, an elderly couple received verbal abuse for flying a controversial flag outside their home. However, when they repeatedly refused to remove the banner, they ultimately found themselves in the crossfire of a terrifying drive-by shooting.
In cities across the U.S., citizens have expressed fears regarding openly expressing certain political and social views. Many are concerned that their relationships, jobs, and reputations may be jeopardized if they voice an opinion that goes against the mainstream. Disturbingly, this threat has even extended to their very lives.
An elderly man and woman are left fearing for their lives and scrambling for answers after their Seattle home was shot up by an unidentified gunman. The pair, who have asked that their identities be kept anonymous for safety purposes, say that the attack was all due to their decision to display what’s now considered by some to be a controversial symbol.
According to KIRO-TV, the home of an elderly couple was riddled with bullets in a drive-by shooting over their decision to fly a “thin blue line American flag” in their yard. The homeowners had displayed the flag on their property to show support for the Seattle Police Department and other emergency first responders, which apparently garnered the outrage of certain locals.
During a private interview, the couple revealed that once they had erected the flag in their yard, they began receiving unsolicited hatred. They explained that strangers would often confront them over their support of law enforcement officers, even resorting to demands that they remove the flag from their property.
“About twice a week someone was coming by and saying derogatory remarks saying take it down. I didn’t argue with anybody,” the victim said.
The trouble began when the couple placed a fairly large thin blue line flag in their yard, spurring a string of vandalism. The couple filed a police report for harassment after the phrases “Black Lives Matter” and “ACAB,” which stands for “All Cops Are B——-,” were spray-painted on the street in front of their house.
Fearing further retaliation, the couple replaced the banner with a smaller flag, hoping that the move would de-escalate the tension. Instead, they were targeted in a drive-by shooting, which was captured on a surveillance camera on their porch. Nine shots were fired from the vehicle, six of which penetrated the couple’s car and home. At least one round pierced multiple walls inside the house, traveling all the way through the garage door and into the living space.
“I went numb. This didn’t really happen did it?” said the homeowner. “I’m fearful because I don’t know who it would be that would get that angry.”
Police arrived at the property and assessed the damage. They concluded that there is a reasonable amount of evidence to suggest that the couple was indeed the target of a drive-by for their support of law enforcement officers as showcased by their thin blue line flag.
“The police said as much as we appreciate your support, we tell our families don’t fly them.”
The couple continues to offer their support for the police but is too afraid to continue flying the thin blue line flag outside their home. They are still in disbelief that anyone would be so enraged by an opinion that they were willing to shoot and possibly kill someone.
“Everybody has an opinion and we’re entitled to it. You don’t shoot me for it!”
The couple lives in fear for their lives for simply displaying a flag that shows support for the men and women who risk their lives to enforce the law. They feel unsafe in the neighborhood they have called their home for three decades. Effectively, they have been silenced through violent force by those who disagree with them.
It’s disturbing that voicing an opinion, especially one as commonsensical as supporting law enforcement, now may be signing your own death warrant. Sadly, even the police officers understand this and have advised citizens to refrain from showing such support so as to not place themselves in danger.