Dated: Saturday February 08, 2020
As a body of men and women of color employed as criminal justice practitioners, the members and Board of Directors of the National Association of Black Law Enforcement Officers have, since their inception, consistently taken an active stance against police brutality, racially discriminatory practices in law enforcement, and other instances of social injustice that bring both division and discredit to our chosen profession.
It is with this in mind that we lend our support to the leadership and members of MAMLEO and the Boston NAACP in their stand concerning the letter sent by Michael Leary, President of the Boston Police Patrolmen’s Association to the Boston Teacher’s Union opposing the National Black Lives Matter Week in school.
While we recognize that Mr. Leary’s organization is responsible for representing the labor and employment concerns of the men and women of the Boston Police Department, we must also accept that the opinions of the union’s leadership do not, and will not, be representative of all members of that agency. As well, the tone of Mr. Leary’s letter would seem to, in part, be in direct alignment with the issues that the principal core of the Black Lives Matter movement has expressed objections to. It is NABLEO’s considered opinion that the Black Lives Matter movement is not anti-police, but rather they are opposed to violence and systemic racism against people of color.
Even taking into consideration Mr. Leary’s expressed concerns regarding officer safety, as professional law enforcement practitioners we must recognize and accept that the actions and comments of some of our members, to include those within the Boston Police Patrolmen’s Association, rest solidly on the very foundation upon which our profession was established. The institution of policing has been inherently biased against people of color and low income, and was specifically designed to be that way.
This in no way should be interpreted as saying that all law enforcement officers are racists, but must be accepted as an acknowledgement and understanding that there are amongst us those who utilize the power and might of their position to perpetuate racial profiling, police misconduct, excessive use of force, and unethical, unprofessional behavior specifically where it concerns communities of color. Even the membership of the International Association of Chiefs of Police has publicly apologized “for the actions of the past and the role that our profession has played in society’s historical mistreatment of communities of color.”
Nor can we blindly accept the concept suggested by Mr. Leary that, because there are in fact those within the Black Lives Matter movement who have shown the capacity for violence against law enforcement officers, that all of its members are like minded. We know that this is absolutely not the truth.
When the institutions and leadership that are sworn to protect and represent us choose to act and speak in discriminatory and racially divisive tones, it does nothing less than perpetuate the narrative that police are racists, with no regard, acknowledgement, respect or understanding of the historical mistreatment of people of color by law enforcement that have played a significantly pivotal role in the scheme of police-community relations, that have been largely ignored by our professional counterparts.
The commitment of the more than 9,000 members of our Association towards strengthening the bonds between law enforcement and the communities we serve, ensuring their exercise of the right to be free from any form of social injustice, demands our support for the Massachusetts Association of Minority Law Enforcement Officers and the Boston Branch of the NAACP. Our oath to serve all equally, with fairness, honor, dignity, and the assurance of equal justice for all requires no less.
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.
© 2017, BSL Systems Ltd Designed by BSL Systems Ltd