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HOA Demands Homeowners Take Down Signs About Local Police

Residents of a St. Cloud, Florida community began joining their neighbors by putting up signs in their yards. The signs were in response to a tragedy. The signs were meant to show support for the local police.

One homeowner's association, however, wouldn't allow it. They ordered that the signs be removed from their community because they violated guidelines.

Homeowners put up the simple black signs with a blue line across, and the words 'Back the Blue' written on them. Signs went up across St. Cloud, a town about 25 miles outside of Orlando. The signs were in response to a recent police shooting.

Two officers in neighboring Kissimmee were killed in the line of duty in August. On the night of the 18th, Officer Matthew Baxter went to conduct a routine check on three suspicious people hanging out at an intersection.

Police Sgt. Richard “Sam” Howard went to back up Baxter.

Everett Glenn Miller, a 45-year-old man with a mental illness, pulled out a gun and shot both officers. Baxter died right after the incident, and Howard died the next day.

Neighborhoods all over the Kissimmee-St. Cloud area put up the signs as a show of support for the local police after the departments were rocked by the tragedy. Dozens of residents in the Stevens Plantations Residential Community, however, were ordered to remove them.

They received letters from their Homeowner's Association which stated that the signs violated the bylaws.

"We support the blue, we back them, so we like to show that," said stunned homeowner, Bryan Burgess. "We’re showing support for our local law enforcement. Two have lost their lives in the line of duty. I don’t think there’s an issue with it."

"It's just about being supportive, of those that put their lives on the line every day to protect me and my family," said Janet Van Kirk, another resident. "It's just disappointment because it's not like it's hurting anybody I just want to show my support that's all I just want to say thank you."

Kirk says she has family members who are in law enforcement so she's very disappointed.

"The primary purpose of a community association is to maintain and increase the value of each owner’s property. It is not the desire of the board of directors to impose hardship," said the association in response to questions about the policy.

Some residents are sticking to their guns. “It’s frustrating, it’s not uglying up the house, I mean it’s just a sign,” said Burgess. “I plan on it staying there until I can go to the community meeting and talk to them about it.”

Other residents have taken the signs down from their lawn and porches, but are displaying them in their windows. More and more homeowner associations are trying to stay away from controversial signs, even when they are simply there to show patriotism, respect for the Armed Forces or for local law enforcement.

It’s a shame that people’s right to protest such things can garner more support than people’s right to show honor to such things.

Source: Independent Journal Review
Photo: Fox 35 Screenshot

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