The Fairfax Fraternal Order of Police Lodge 77 (FOP) called for a boycott of Cox Farms in Centreville, Virginia, after a "Black Lives Matter" sign was spotted by an officer hanging in a building near the property.
Gina Cox, who owns the farm, told WUSA9 that the sign sits on her daughter's property: "It's her private property and she can put up any political sign she wants to in her yard. We treasure our relationship with the local police force, so it's not anything against them at all."
In a Facebook posting, which has been removed, the Fairfax FOP described the sign as "disturbing and disappointing," and a "slap in the face this represents to the police officers in Fairfax County."
Mike Curtis, with Virginia CopBlock (a citizen watchdog group), told the news station:
The Facebook post they made, which was removed because of the unprecedented public outrage towards their attempt to bully a local landmark and beloved destination, further reinforces the lack of trust in the Fairfax County Police Department.
Brad Carruthers, president of the Fairfax FOP, countered:
Unfortunately that [phrase] has been hijacked by a small group of anti-police individuals ... It actually has taken away from their movement because they're not promoting the violence that is going on ... We do believe in Black Lives Matter. And the fact of the matter is, and I know it's a cliche of all lives matter, but we want to work with the communities to strengthen our community trust.
It's not clear how calling for a boycott was meant to strengthen "community trust."
Additionally, the phrase "all lives matter" has been used as a common pushback against "Black Lives Matter."
Black Lives Matter DMV said in a statement: "The movement is not an attack on individual officers; it's a movement to highlight the structural oppression Black people face in this country."
Carruthers claimed in a second Fairfax FOP posting that the comments to the first post were the real problem: "I have removed my post regarding Cox's Farm because its intent was being misrepresented and the inflammatory nature of the comments made removing it the wiser course of action."