ATASCADERO — This afternoon, Atascadero Police Chief Bob Masterson made a statement on the APD Facebook page regarding a sign posted in a resident’s yard suggesting that law enforcement officers are potentially members of the Ku Klux Klan.
The sign, which read “Blue by day; White by night,” was divided down the middle, splitting an image of a person in half. The sign’s left side displayed an illustration of a police officer next to the words ‘Blue by day.’ The sign’s right side was a depiction of someone in the KKK hood with the words ‘White by night’ printed next to it. Together, the two images combined to make one person.
A photo of the sign began making rounds on social media on Wednesday night. At this time, it is still unclear if the message was aimed towards local police officers or for a broader national message.
Police Chief Bob Masterson’s released the following statement:
“It is my firm belief that everyone has the freedom of speech as governed by the constitution and laws of California. Yesterday was the first I heard of the sign, and my first reaction was to reach out to those residents in an effort to start a conversation with the people who live there. I want to understand their opinions and whether they feel it is reflective of our local Atascadero Police Department.
After careful consideration, I decided I would not want my actions to be perceived as interference with their freedom of speech. I would hope that the person who posted the sign would reach out to me so we may have this conversation. I am a new Chief to Atascadero and do not believe our officers have any prejudicial views, but if there are, I would most certainly like to have that knowledge, so I may address it. I am a firm believer that all of us in society have some biases, but that it is important that we acknowledge those biases and engage in meaningful conversation with people to both acknowledge those biases and resolve them in a helpful way.”
The Atascadero News has confirmed that the sign is still posted as of 1 p.m. on Thursday, Jan. 14.
APD and Chief Masterson encourage residents to reach out with concerns by calling the police department at (805)461-5051.