Dated: Friday July 17, 2009
It has been little over a year that we joined our Brothers and Sisters in speaking out against the overtly racist posters depicting police officers as members of the Ku Klux Klan, that had been placed in the locker rooms of the Philadelphia Police Department, viewing this as yet another example of the innate biases and racist attitudes of some of our counterparts towards the many officers of color who work with and around them.
It has been a little over three months since we adamantly spoke out regarding the appalling public statements made by a service member to news reporters about the citizens of the community in what could only be construed as violently racist and outrageously discriminatory terms.
We now stand again, in united voice with the Guardian Civic League, the NAACP, and others in the Philadelphia community against what can only be viewed as a systemically virulent attitude of hatred and bias against not only members of the community, but those whose job it is to protect them. The attitudes and ideologies that have been spawned from an apparently agency-sanctioned internet site commonly referred to as "Domelights" further serve to create not only a heightened level of racial and cultural bias and indifference, but a clear, present and increasingly dangerous and hostile working environment for the nearly 2,500 law enforcement officers of color serving the people of Philadelphia.
The actions of those members of the Philadelphia Police Department who both actively and covertly support the insidiously racist and discriminatory publication and dissemination of these disgusting, harassing and offensive comments, cartoons, and caricatures create continued fractures in the hard-fought for positive relationships between law enforcement and the community, further posing a clear and present danger to the safety of law enforcement officers. And a seeming attitude of supervisory and administrative approval of these attitudes and behaviors make the administration of justice no less complicit.
We further believe that these attitudes and behaviors are intrinsic and pervasive within the Philadelphia Police Department, so much so that these activities have been allowed to be intentionally and continuously engaged in during the on-duty hours of those involved, amongst them officers of supervisory rank.
In one of their more dangerously offensive postings, the question is posed "How much longer can you ignore this?" The answer shall be clear, unambiguous and loud - NO LONGER! No longer will we allow you to create and foster an atmosphere of racially hostile attitudes and behaviors. No longer will we allow you to place us and others at risk because of your ignorance and callous minded invectives. And no longer will you be allowed to hide behind internet screen names as if they were Ku Klux Klan hoods.
The Board of Directors and General Membership of the National Association of Black Law Enforcement Officers, Inc gives its full, complete and wholehearted support to the class action filed in this matter, as it supports not only the many men and women of color serving within the ranks of the Philadelphia Police Department, but the community-at-large who are deserving of a much higher quality of service than those involved appear willing or qualified to provide.
The National Association of Black Law Enforcement Officers, Inc, a 501.(c).(3) non-profit, is a premier national organization representing the interests and concerns of African American, Latino and other criminal justice practitioners of color serving in law enforcement, corrections, and investigative agencies throughout the United States, and the communities in which they serve.
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