Tags: George Floyd Protests | police | race | protests | unions

Floyd Protests Divide Some Police Departments on Racial Lines

police in a line with swat gear on
Police force a woman to move from where she is standing as they clear a block during protests on May 30, 2020 in Louisville, Kentucky.  (Brett Carlsen/Getty Images)

By    |   Monday, 15 June 2020 06:21 PM

The clash between those protesting over the death of a black man in police custody in Minneapolis and cops is also dividing some departments in major cities, with black law enforcement officers’ organizations criticizing police unions and management, NBC reported.

"This is a new era in America, and we have to embrace the change," NBC quoted Charles Billups, president of the Grand Council of Guardians.

The Grand Council is a black law enforcement association in New York whose membership includes about 3,000 New York City Police Department officers.

"If you keep recycling those same people in leadership positions, you'll never get real change.” Billups said. “We have to get out of the past and move into the future."

Billups said, according to NBC, that while police departments’ racial makeup may be changing to more reflect a city’s demographics, the unions’ are not, and until that also changes, legislation to alter procedures will be blocked by an “old guard.”

In Miami, the Miami Community Police Benevolent Association on Friday demanded the resignation of Police Chief Jorge Colina, a 30-year veteran, because of language he used in a 1997 training class.

"We're talking about black men dying. We're talking about systemic racism in police work," organization vice president Ramon Carr said.

Colina confirmed he used “offensive language” teaching a class on undercover policing, telling students that the work sometimes required actions and words that may make some uncomfortable.

"We believe Chief Colina harbors implicit biases and it reflects today on the department," Sgt. Stanley Jean-Poix, the MCPBA president, said. "Whenever we talk to him about our issues, he's tone deaf."

Conversely, the 1,300-member St. Louis police union criticized the city’s police chief, John Hayden, who is black, for his response to protests over the death of George Floyd, a black man, who died after his arrest for using a counterfeit $20 bill in Minneapolis.

A widely circulated video shows a white police officer with his knee on Floyd’s neck in what some claim is an example of systemic racism in law enforcement.

The St. Louis police union wrote to Missouri Gov. Mike Parson saying its membership had lost confidence in Hayden after four officers were shot during the unrest and a retired police captain was killed responding to a friend’s pawn shop that was being looted.

Hayden in turn criticized union business manager Jeffrey Roorda in a tweet. He said Roorda "feels a need to thrive on crisis, attempts to invoke panic, and is accustomed to an environment wherein he can control the chief of police.”

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The clash between those protesting over the death of a black man in police custody in Minneapolis and cops is also dividing some departments in major cities, with black law enforcement officers' organizations criticizing police unions and management, NBC...
police, race, protests, unions
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2020-21-15
Monday, 15 June 2020 06:21 PM
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