Son of officer killed in line of duty told to remove mask honoring father at work

Son of officer fatally shot in line of duty told to remove mask honoring father at work

MCDOWELL COUNTY, N.C. — A gunman killed Officer Jason Crisp and his K-9 during a manhunt in Burke County in 2014. His son works at Lowe’s Home Improvement in Marion, North Carolina, and wears a mask with a thin blue line on it -- his way of supporting his fallen father and other police officers.

But his manager told him he’s not allowed to wear that mask while he’s working.

On Thursday night, dozens of people showed up outside the Lowe’s in Marion, protesting that decision.

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Channel 9′s Dave Faherty covered the story in 2014 and was at the Lowe’s on Thursday. People could be seen gathered outside of the home improvement store for a peaceful protest -- many of them wearing a mask with a thin blue line on it.

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Crisp and his police K-9 were ambushed while searching for a double-murder suspect in the Pisgah National Forest, just north of Morganton in 2014.

Crisp’s son, who was 16 at the time of his father’s death, wants to follow him into law enforcement and is working at Lowe’s while also going to school.

“I wouldn’t want this to be political. It’s very personal to us,” his mother said. “It was very personal to Garrett and I hope it was just one person’s mistake not to wear the mask and not the corporation of Lowe’s.”

Jason Crisp
Jason Crisp

Crisp’s son was not at the protest Thursday night. He’s at school and is following the company’s request and still employed at Lowe’s.

A spokesperson with Lowe’s Home Improvement sent the following statement:

“We respect the desire to share personal views and honor loved ones. However, we ask all associates while in the workplace to follow our longstanding dress code policy, which only allows associates to wear items with visible logos that are related to Lowe’s business, such as the name brands we sell. We will also continue to provide masks and vests to all associates to make it easier to follow our policy.”

WEB EXCLUSIVE VIDEO: Jason Crisp's brothers speak to Channel 9 about his death