SALT LAKE CITY (ABC4 News) – An Adult Probation and Parole officer is facing repercussions for putting up a confederate flag in his front yard.
Mimi Mahone says she was walking through her neighborhood in Salt Lake County when she spotted something she felt was offensive.
“When I saw that it was a confederate flag, I felt like really sad because I knew who lived there,” said Mahone.
The teenager says she tried to talk with the homeowner.
“The officer, he’s outside walking his dog and I said, ‘Hey, why do you have this?’ And he just sat there. He didn’t say anything to me. He just had his arms folded, like yeah, just straight-faced,” she said.
Not getting anywhere, she says she left and came back the next day. This time talking to a woman.
A cellphone video captured Mahone begins with her asking, “Then why don’t you just have the American flag up?”
The woman responded, “Why can’t we have both? They are both for the United States.”
After doing some digging, ABC4 News found out the officer works for Adult Parole and Probation.
Liam Truchard with the Utah Department of Corrections tells us, “This officer has been placed on Administrative Leave pending the results of an investigation.”
Seth Brysk is the Regional Director of the Anti-Defamation League. He says some people see the confederate flag as a symbol of heritage, history, and southern pride. Others see it as a symbol of bigotry, white supremacy, and extremist groups.
“We cannot assume the intent of the person who’s displaying. So I think coming to them with a certain understanding and saying … helping understand why this is offensive. This is a teachable moment,” he said.
The flag was down when ABC4 News Investigator Jason Nguyen visited the home, but neighbors tell him they are still intimidated and scared because of it.
“When you know that it is a law enforcement person, you’re like, ‘Ok, they’re for sure making a statement’ and to know that he works for the public as, like an AP&P officer, he is around people that you know he could have an effect on,” said neighbor Wendy Knowles.
ABC4 News is withholding the officer’s name pending the investigation conducted by his superiors.