Washington, DC – On Thursday, February 11, 2016, the National Coalition of Law Enforcement Officers for Justice, Reform & Accountability (NCLEO4J) publicly condemned the protests that are being planned at the NFL Offices in New York in response to Beyoncé’s Super Bowl 50 half-time performance.
“We reject the counter arguments comparing the Black Panther Party to the Ku Klux Klan,” states the group. As current, former and retired law enforcement officers at the local, state and federal levels, we refuse to suspend our common sense as our counterparts attempt to silence Beyoncé’s artistic right to perform her song “Formation” in a critically historical and current context.
The propaganda that is being cranked out attempts to change the social reality on the ground for people of color and poor people as it relates to law enforcement in this country.
On Wednesday, United States Attorney General Loretta Lynch filed a lawsuit against the Ferguson, Missouri Police Department alleging a pattern and practice of unconstitutional police conduct in the city.
More specifically, the US Justice Department March 4, 2015 investigation concluded the following: “Ferguson’s approach to law enforcement both reflects and reinforces racial bias, including stereotyping. The harms of Ferguson’s police and court practices are borne disproportionately by African-Americans, and there is evidence that this is due in part to intentional discrimination on the basis of race.”
Additionally, the US government under the direction of J. Edgar Hoover developed a strategy to undermine organizations in the Black community including the Black Panther Party. The PBS Film, “J. Edgar Hoover and the F.B.I.” expresses it this way, “If you read the FBI files you will see that even Mr. J. Edgar Hoover himself had to say that it was not the guns that were the greatest threat to the internal security of the United States of America; it was not the guns, it was the Free Children’s Breakfast Program that was the greatest threat to the internal security of the United States of America.
Now why the Free Children’s Breakfast Program? The Free Children’s Breakfast Program engendered a certain following on the Black community’s part; a certain respect on the Black community’s part. I mean, nobody can argue with free grits. So Hoover saw it as a kind of infiltration. That’s ridiculous isn’t it? Infiltration? How are Black people, who are born and raised in the Black community, who live and work in the Black community, going to infiltrate their own Black community?
If anybody’s infiltrating, its J. Edgar Hoover.
If this does not convince our colleagues in law enforcement that they are on the wrong side of history, and that they are wrong about Beyoncé’s performance, then the prosecution of 5 police officers in New Orleans for post-Katrina shootings of innocent civilians on the Danziger bridge should be a ghastly reminder of what happens when police officers concoct stories—innocent people get hurt.