Dated: Saturday October 17, 2020
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 more than 9,000 African American, Latino and other criminal justice practitioners of color who are both active serving or retired members of law enforcement, corrections, and investigative agencies throughout the United States, and the communities in which they serve.
We find the endorsements of Donald Trump for re-election as President of the United States recently made by Kevin Hassett, President of the Retired Police Association of the State of New York, Patrick Yoes, President of the National Fraternal Order of Police, and Patrick Lynch, President of the City of New York Police Benevolent Association, to be both unsuitable and completely inappropriate, as it in no way represents the consent, concerns and issues of the entire membership of the Association, and its dues-paying members of color in particular.
While, as a federally registered non-profit, we are legally restricted from making formal endorsements of any one political candidate, we must, however, object to those endorsements allegedly made in our name to support a candidate whose ethical, political and vituperative personal extremism is antithetical to everything we hold dear in our services to the communities of color that we hail from. We unequivocally state our objections to the endorsement of someone who has, by their own words and actions, proven themselves to be racially insensitive and characteristically opposed to the demands for true justice in communities of color across the country.
We also find that, for these men to claim to have provided this endorsement unanimously in the name of all members of the National FOP, the nearly 5000 members of the Retired Police Association of the State of New York, and the nearly 36,000 members of the New York Police Department, which specifically includes numerous dues-paying African American and Latino members, without even the common courtesy of polling those members, is nothing less than dishonest and disreputable, and undermines law enforcements legitimacy in the eyes of the public, particularly in those communities of color it is sworn to serve.
It must be understood that we do not support police who abuse their authority. Both our peers and counterparts must be held accountable, as well as fellow officers who tacitly allow abuses to occur. Our concerns are real, and as we have seen in many instances, life altering. Nor do we support defunding the police, but we do support enhancing police accountability, reforming hiring, recruitment and training. We believe that transparency and willingness to make meaningful change in police culture is necessary to properly serve the community, and that they should have a voice about police services. We strongly support peaceful demonstrations as a First Amendment right of free speech. To that extent, it must be recognized, and accepted by all, that the premier source of domestic terrorist threats in the nation per the F.B.I. are "White Supremacists, Militia Groups and Neo Nazi Groups" not Black Lives Matter (BLM), as it is a movement that is comprised of people peacefully invoking that right to highlight the fact that people of color should be treated with the same respect, compassion and dignity as White Americans, asking for change that represents equality for all Americans.
As to our right to provide this viewpoint, African American law enforcement officers have served this nation honorably for nearly two centuries and have played a significantly pivotal role in the scheme of police-community relations, even while their services, impact and accomplishments have been largely ignored by White researchers, commentators, and their professional counterparts. Our members, just as our counterparts, have given their life’s blood in the protection of this nation and our sacrifices have been no less. And yes, the names of our members have also been enshrined and memorialized on the National Law Enforcement Officers’ Memorial in our nations’ capital.
The National Association of Black Law Enforcement Officers, Inc. stands in total and complete support of those officers of color within the membership of NABLEO, the National Fraternal Order of Police, New York City Police Benevolent Association and the Retired Police Association of the State of New York who oppose the political endorsement of Donald J. Trump for re-election to the office of President of the United States of America.
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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