Indianapolis, IN, May 4, 2022 – In 2021, Joseph J. Swantack, Jr., and Christine M. Swantack, of New Albany, OH were confronted by their homeowner's association (HOA) regarding the Thin Blue Line flag they displayed in support of law enforcement. They were assessed fines and threatened with litigation if they refused to remove the flag flying outside their front door.
The National Police Association, having previously successfully intervened on behalf of a Colorado homeowner with their HOA regarding a Thin Blue Line flag, contacted the Swantacks and offered assistance. Contacts with the HOA seeking a mutually agreeable voluntary outcome were in this case unsuccessful.
According to James Bopp Jr. of The Bopp Law Firm of Terre Haute, Indiana, counsel for Plaintiffs, “HOA covenants that prohibit the display of the Thin Blue Line flag are in violation of the First Amendment and the threats by the HOA to enforce their prohibition in court are without merit.”
Sgt. Betsy Brantner Smith (Ret), the spokesperson for the National Police Association, says: “Although this matter is purely a question of law, more broadly the Thin Blue Line in all its forms has come under attack from anti-police activists who seek to eliminate any symbol of support for law enforcement. You'll note when parties have been able to ban the Thin Blue Line as a symbol of support for law enforcement they rarely provide an alternative symbol of support they will permit. That's because there aren't any.”
The case is 1:22-cv-00237 National Police Association, Inc. et al v. New Albany Park Condominium Association Board of Directors et al, in the United States District Court for the Southern District of Ohio Eastern Division. The lawsuit can be read here https://nationalpolice.org/main/wp-content/uploads/2022/05/National-Police-Association-Inc.-et-al-v.-New-Albany-Park-Condominium-Association-Board-of-Directors-et-al.pdf
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