A billboard campaign honoring police officers that started in Memphis, Tennessee, has made its way to Michigan: a campaign stating that Blue Lives Matter.
A branding agency called Tactical Magic originally created the Blue Lives Matter campaign to honor local police, Fox 17 reports. Lamar Advertising, a firm based in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, joined in and donated more than 150 billboards nationwide to the cause.
The billboards also include hashtags for the campaign: #thankublu.
On Oct. 5, the first Blue Lives Mater billboard was lit in Grand Rapids, Michigan, along I-98 westbound.
The Blue Lives Matter campaign, a reaction to the Black Lives Matter movement, has sparked controversy.
“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,’” Darel Ross, co-executive director of LINC Community Revitalization Inc., told Fox 17.
Ross added that belittling the Black Lives Matter movement will not help the relationship between officers and the black community.
Cle Jackson, president of greater Grand Rapids' NAACP chapter, noted that while he understands the message, he wishes it was more intentional.
“All lives matter right?” Jackson said. “So that’s why we came to the table in a very I think civil and sober manner with local law enforcement here to say how can we actually work together to improve community police relations."
Ross and Jackson have both been long time contributor sto the Grand Rapids' community plan to improve the relationships between police and citizens. The plan includes building transparency like using body cameras and implicit bias training.
The billboard will be on display until Nov. 6, according to Lamar Advertising spokespersons.
Photo Credit: Instagram, WXMI via Daily Mail