Smithtown, NY- Saturday afternoon a group of BLM protesters showed up at the Smithtown Fire Department to denounce the flying of a police support flag on one of the firetrucks. They were met with an even larger group of “Back the Blue” counter protesters.
For a few hours the groups traded chants of “Black Lives Matter” and “Blue Lives Matter” as well as waving flags and banners. Police did make a few arrests, two on each side of the protest, after a BLM protester pulled down a flag and a short scuffle ensued. No word on charges.
A line of Suffolk County Police kept the two groups separated along Elm St. in front of the firehouse.
No injuries were reported.
Black Lives Matter organizers planned a protest after Smithtown Fire Commissioners allowed the flag to be flown on a firetruck after initially ordering it removed. Community criticism of the elected commissioners’ decision to remove the flag prompted the reversal. In a social media post BLM organizers called the Blue Lives Matter flag racist when calling for the march on the firehouse.