After a video confrontation between a Jacksonville, Florida city inspector and a customer in a local business went viral, a flap over the display of military flags became a national story. The Jacksonville city inspector apologized on social media Monday for a controversy that she sparked when she issued a warning citation to a business for flying military flags — which she said was a code violation.
It wasn’t all, the city inspector then belittled the same customer who happened to be a combat veteran saying he did nothing for the country.
Melinda Power later removed the Facebook post, but screenshots of it continue to be circulated on social media.
Power came under fire after she cited Jaguar Power Sports on the city’s Westside for flying flags on its roof that represent each branch of the military. The rooftop display also includes two United States flags and a Jacksonville Jaguars flag.
Employees at the business said a customer overheard Power issuing the warning, which told the business to correct the violation or risk “prosecution for the offense.”
The customer, who is a military veteran, got upset, and a confrontation between the two was captured on surveillance video.
Employees said Power insulted the customer after he told her he almost lost his life serving in the military.
She gets in his face this close and says, ‘You did nothing for this country,'” store employee Katie Klasse said.
In her Facebook post, Power described the incident differently, saying she thought the customer had asked, “Do you know what I did?” And that she responded, “Nothing.”
She said after that, tempers flared, and she admitted: “I should never have been unprofessional and disrespectful period. Sincerely apologize.”
Power also said in the post that her father, husband and son-in-law have all served in the military and that she has “the utmost respect for the military.”
Mayor Lenny Curry stepped in after word of the confrontation and the warning citation that prompted it reached his office.
Curry said Monday night that he has directed city staff to treat military flags the same as the U.S. flag when on display.
Power and her immediate supervisor have been suspended, per the Jacksonville mayor’s office. The managers of Jacksonville Power Sports then tore up their warnings in a follow-up post on social media.
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