A police union leader called for a boycott of Centreville, Virginia’s Cox Farms pumpkin patch this week after seeing a “Black Lives Matter” sign in a nearby building, the Washington Post reports. (The officer says the sign was in a pumpkin patch management building, but Cox Farms says the building in question is the private residence of a farm owner.) From the Post:
“This is a time in which law enforcement is the target for criticism for almost everything they do and officers are constantly questioned by the public and the media without the benefit of all the facts,” the Facebook post read. “The presence of this sign at Cox’s Farm helps perpetuate this kind of behavior and judgment. I know you have heard it all about a million times but the truth is that ‘All Lives Matter.’ ”
[Officer Brad] Carruthers finished by writing: “I hope you will join me and my police family and make a choice to go somewhere else to enjoy your family fun this fall, where you will not be confronted by such baseless criticism and judgment.”
Carruthers has since removed the post. The family that runs Cox Farms, in an admirably restrained Facebook post, says it has donated to police fundraising efforts in the past, gives discounts to officers and other public servants, and is in no way “anti-cop.” (“Valuing Black lives and respecting the lives and work of police officers are not mutually exclusive,” says the statement.)
The case is reminiscent of a similar recent incident in Florida in which a police chief issued an official department “incident report” and demanded an apology from the CEO of Arby’s after an officer was allegedly refused service at one of the chain’s locations.