“Blue Lives Matter” billboards appearing in SWFL

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FORT MYERS, Fla.- Billboards popping up around Southwest Florida reading “Blue Lives Matter” are stirring up mixed emotions with residents.

The Lamar signs, meant to acknowledge law enforcement, sport the message which is a spin-off of the slogan “Black Lives Matter.”

“Police lately have been put on the carpet lately and they have a very dangerous job and people don’t take into account that they have seconds to think about what their decisions are,” said resident Petty Poulos.

Some say the campaign divides people rather than bringing them together.

“You can’t watch anything on TV, anything about the election without seeing this everywhere: “Black Lives Matter.” I think one person said it best, ‘all lives matter,'” said Anton Pierce.

WINK News reached out to local police agencies to get reaction about the billboards. Sgt. Dana Coston with the Cape Coral Police Department says officiers will feel a sense of appreciation knowing there are those out there who respect and value their work.

The hashtag “thankublu” is trending on Twitter, some use it to show appreciation for officers, but
others use it to express their concerns.

“I think it’s for all of us, not just those in blue, but for all citizens to get involved, to get to the bottom of what is causing these kind of tensions in our society,” said Pierce.

Lamar representatives tell WINK News the digital billboard message started in Memphis and spread from there. They estimate five billboards are displaying the slogan in Southwest Florida.

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