A “Dukes of Hazzard’s” car resembling “The General Lee” has been seen parked at an NYPD precinct stationhouse and some passers-bys are not happy about it.
According to CBS New York, the Dodge Charger known for the Confederate flag on the roof became famous when debuted on the hit television show. The last time the program was aired was in 1985, when attitudes about the flag were quite different.
A resident in the area contacted the NYPD to complain about the vehicle, which was parked in a lot authorized for police officers. Since then, the officer has been told not to drive the car to work.
“I would feel uncomfortable driving that,” said Michael Wynn of Washington Heights. “If I was a cop, I would feel very uncomfortable.”
Other residents, who did not disclose their names, had differing opinions. One woman said, “It doesn’t bother me either way, it really doesn’t.” However, when asked, another man said, “It’s a symbol of racism, really if you think about it.”
Although there are those who oppose the flag, civil rights attorney Nadine Strossen said the displaying of the Confederate flag is clearly protected by the First Amendment.
“Government must remain neutral to any viewpoint or idea, and allow the expression of ideas, even if the vast majority of the community considers the idea dangerous, offensive, wrong, and evil,” she said.
CBS New York reported that a spokesman for the department said, “Due to the fact that its presence at the NYPD facility may be considered offensive and/or inappropriate, the registered owner is being instructed that the car should not be parked on NYPD property.”
A source familiar with the officer who owns “The General Lee” replica said that he is a big fan of the show and has only driven it to the stationhouse a couple of times.