300 LAPD Officers Absent over July 4th Weekend in Suspected ‘Blue Flu’

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The Los Angeles Police Department is reportedly investigating the unusual absence of 300 officers who called in sick over the Fourth of July weekend in what is a suspected case of “blue flu” — an informal protest by the rank-and-file.

The Los Angeles Times reported Tuesday:

An unsigned letter circulated among the Los Angeles Police Department rank and file last week, encouraging officers to call in sick to protect their own interests.

“They succeeded in defunding the police; what do you think is next? Our pay? Our benefits? Our pensions? You’re God Damn right all those things are in jeopardy now,” read the letter, which was obtained by The Times. “We have to send the city a clear message that we are not expendable and we are not going to take this crap anymore.”

Now, LAPD commanders are investigating whether an unusual spike in officers calling in sick over the July 4 weekend was the result of an orchestrated protest or labor action, which would be illegal. Sources in the department told The Times up to 300 officers called in sick in what many in the department suspect was a “blue flu.”

It came on a weekend with an unusually high number of homicides and shootings and as residents complained of illegal fireworks exploding all across the city.

Coronavirus infections may also have contributed to the rapid increase in officers calling in sick, and the local police union has condemned the idea of a “blue flu” and discouraged officers from participating in such actions.

However, police officers in other cities have engaged in similar protests, and morale within the Los Angeles Police Department has been described as being at a “record low.”

Mayor Eric Garcetti announced cuts of up to $150 million from the police budget last month as a concession to the Black Lives Matter movement’s demand to “defund the police.”

Joel B. Pollak is Senior Editor-at-Large at Breitbart News and the host of Breitbart News Sunday on Sirius XM Patriot on Sunday evenings from 7 p.m. to 10 p.m. ET (4 p.m. to 7 p.m. PT). His new book, RED NOVEMBER, is available for pre-order. He is a winner of the 2018 Robert Novak Journalism Alumni Fellowship. Follow him on Twitter at @joelpollak.

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