Unfortunately, due to ongoing coronavirus restrictions, the May California Peace Officers’ Memorial ceremonies at the State Capitol have been postponed to 2022. The seven California officers who would have been honored publicly will now be recognized next year alongside the fallen from 2019 and 2021, along with officers from both the recent and distant past.
Memorial Day, observed on the last Monday in May, is a day for our nation to remember and honor — in person or in spirit — the brave men and women of the U.S armed forces who gave their lives in service to our country. In observance of this day, many individuals attend large public memorials or visit national cemeteries to place flowers, flags and photos on the graves of the fallen. Many also choose to don a red poppy — a symbol of remembrance whose origins date back to World War I. Here, we uncover the storied history of the flower that came to memorialize our heroes.
The thin blue line is a powerful phrase and symbol recognized and embraced by many in the law enforcement community to show solidarity, support and pride for the profession. But where does it come from? In honor of National Peace Officers Memorial Day on May 15, we’re diving into the history of this iconic phrase and image and what it means to law enforcement.
On March 16, Senator Steven Bradford (D-Gardena) held a press conference to introduce SB 2, a bill seeking to eliminate the legal immunities for peace officers in California and create a licensing program for peace officers in California. SB 2 is a reintroduction of last year’s SB 731 (Bradford), which officially died as a result of the Assembly floor not taking it up for a vote before the midnight deadline. PORAC has serious concerns with SB 2 and its impact on the well-being of our officers and the public.
It’s been a beautiful spring in Washington, D.C., but one marred by tragedy. On April 2, Capitol Police Officer William Evans was killed when a driver rammed his car into a barricade surrounding the U.S. Capitol complex. Officer Evans, an 18-year veteran of the force, lay in state within the Capitol Rotunda on April 9, where he was eulogized by President Joe Biden and celebrated for his heroic life. We at Steptoe & Johnson LLP share these sentiments, and offer our sincerest condolences to Officer Evans’ family and friends. The heroism of Capitol Police officers, as well as law enforcement officers across the country, has never been more appreciated.
When Kyle Weatherman was 8 years old, he told himself that one day, he’d be in a position to make an impact in his community and on those around him. Now, he’s made those aspirations come true, not only by becoming one of the brightest young talents in motorsports, but also by standing up and showing his support for law enforcement. Last June, Weatherman, a full-time NASCAR Xfinity driver for Mike Harmon Racing, proudly debuted a “Back the Blue” paint scheme on his car for the Dixie Vodka 250 race in Florida, including a thin blue line flag across the hood and the hashtag #BacktheBlue along the side.
Every April, we honor the public safety members who respond to emergency calls, dispatch emergency professionals and equipment, and provide lifesaving assistance to citizens in times of crisis. The idea of an annual event to show appreciation for these personnel actually has its roots in California — begun by Contra Costa County Sheriff’s Office dispatcher Patricia Anderson in 1981, it soon spread across the country until President Bill Clinton officially proclaimed the second week of April as National Public Safety Telecommunicators Week in 1994.