Blue Lives Matter billboards appearing nationwide

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A Tennessee-based advertising firm started a campaign to post Blue Lives Matter billboards around the country.

According to WXMI, Tactical Magic, the firm who started the campaign, created the first sign in Memphis in an effort to honor fallen officers. The billboard is navy blue, featuring a police badge along with the words “Blue Lives Matter” and the hashtag #thankublu. Similar signs read “Memphis Heroes Wear Blue” and “Memphis Honors The Blues.”

The roadside signs caught the attention of Lamar Advertising Company, based out of Louisiana, and the signs have since been spotted in Michigan, Ohio and Georgia. The company donated 150 billboards around the country to the campaign, reports WXMI.

Darel Ross, co-executive director of LINC Community Revitalization Inc. in Grand Rapids, MI, responded to the recent billboard posted on westbound I-96, telling WXMI, “I think in some aspects it’s shameful that the brand is being co-opted, but once again it was never meant to say ‘only black lives matter.'”

“Black lives matter was simply to call attention to a unique set of circumstances that was happening in the black community; and to any way undermine that, or belittle that, ultimately in no way shape or form adds to the relationship between police officers and the black community, or the community at large, because most people get it,” said Ross.

“I get it, in terms of what they’re trying to do in terms of this campaign, it promotes a sense of solidarity, but I think you have to be a little more intentional when doing that, if you really are trying to improve the relationships between communities across this country and law enforcement,” Cle Jackson, president of greater Grand Rapids’ NAACP chapter, told the local Fox station.