Florida inspector suspended after warning business for flying military flags

Worker said military flags were violation of city code, argued with veteran

By Emilee Speck - Digital journalist, Vic Micolucci, WKMG, Francine Frazier, WKMG

Suspended city inspector Melinda Power, right, and Jaguar Power Sport. Photo: WJXT

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. - A Jacksonville city code inspector has been suspended after she issued a motor sport business a warning for flying flags for every branch of the U.S. military, causing outrage across the country.

News 6 Jacksonville partner WJXT reports that city employee Melinda Power came under fire after she cited Jaguar Power Sports for its rooftop display, which also includes two United States flags and a Jacksonville Jaguars flag.

Power went into the store Monday and issued a written warning citation because she said military flags flying on the roof were in violation of city code. A customer who is a military veteran overheard the conversation and became upset, according to WJXT.

Surveillance video from the incident shows Power being rude to the Jaguar Power Sports customer, even getting in the man’s face.

"She says, 'What did you do for this country?' He says, 'I took three bullets to the leg. I almost lost my life for this country. I'm retired. I'm a veteran.' She gets in his face this close and says, 'You did nothing for this country,'" store employee Katie Klasse told WJXT.

After national uproar, Jacksonville Mayor Lenny Curry contacted the business and said the citation could be ripped up and Jaguar Power Sports could continue flying the flags. Curry said that he has directed city staff to treat military flags the same as the U.S. flag when on display.

Power posted a statement to Facebook, and later deleted it, after the incident, saying she “sincerely apologized.”

WJXT reports Jacksonville City Hall phones were inundated with callers Tuesday about the flag citation calling for Power's firing. On Tuesday, the city of Jacksonville suspended Power.

Read more coverage on this incident at news4jax.com.

 

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