Shop Owner Punished For Flying American Flag

A Los Angeles business owner is accusing city code enforcement officials of targeting him for setting up a small foldable sidewalk sign outside of his establishment while ignoring the homeless encampments nearby, Fox News reported.

In an interview with “Fox & Friends” host Ainsley Earhardt on Wednesday, Arik Air, the owner of motorcycle accessory and hobby store Motostyles, said his business was visited multiple times in June for placing a foldable sign outside of his store but his complaints to the city have been ignored.

In June, Air said inspectors contacted him on five different occasions about a foldable sign he placed on the sidewalk. The inspectors kept asking him to move it so it was not on city property. But according to Air, his property extends beyond what the city claims.

Air said that he was previously ticketed for flying an American flag outside of his shop. The code enforcement inspector told him at the time that he was ticketed for having a “flag banner” and fined him $461.

Air told Ainsley Earhardt that whether his foldable sign is an inch on city property or four feet on city property, it still belongs to the owner and not the city. He said he did a survey online that showed that his property line extends “much more outside” than what the city is claiming.

What Air finds especially troubling, however, is that the city has the time to hassle him about a foldable sign but does not have time to address the growing number of homeless encampments in the area.

Air told Earhardt that city officials “never care.” While they can find the time to stop at his shop to complain about his sign, they never have the time to deal with the homeless encampments.

The repeated fines and visits from code enforcement have Air considering whether he should remain in California at all. He told Earhardt that one of the businesses he works with has already relocated to Charlotte, North Carolina.