TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (AP) – As demonstrations against police brutality roiled the country earlier this year, Antoine Mickle began noticing the flags going up in his Jacksonville neighborhood declaring “Blue Lives Matter.”
For months, those flags hung from his neighbors’ homes.
But when Mickle decided to hang a flag of his own last month — proclaiming that “Black Lives Matter” — his neighborhood association immediately asked him to take it down, calling the flag ”noxious or offensive” under its rules.
If his neighbors could express their support for police, he said, he should be allowed to make a statement of his own.
Mickle has refused and this week sued in federal court asserting that his civil rights were violated under the government’s fair housing laws.
The association says the problem was not the message on Mickle’s flag but that the flag did not meet association criteria.