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Police Unions must sit with the Black Community First before sitting with NFL Owners.

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As the silent protest of former NFL Quarterback Colin Kaepernick has taken a new life and a new narrative, police unions, and law enforcement fraternal organizations are still dumb deaf and blind to why this all started.

Kaepernick took a knee to make a silent statement on the continuous questionable shootings of black and brown men and women by police throughout the nation.

As a national organization of Black Law Enforcement Professionals, we were the first law enforcement organization to announce our support for Kaepernick and the first to announce our protest boycott of the NFL in response to the blackballing of Kaepernick. We supported Kaepernick and the boycott because of the understanding of the deep-rooted racism in that exist in our criminal justice system and our local police departments.

In response to the recent LOHUD article Police Unions asking NFL agencies to sit at the table. It’s our opinion that Union Presidents should first allow members of the black communities that they claim to serve to sit at the table before they think about sitting with NFL players or owners.

Historically, police unions have opposed civilian-based police oversight initiatives and policies like Civilian Complaint Review Boards (CCRB) and body cameras. Out of Westchester’s 43 municipalities, there is not one active CCRB because elected officials are afraid to be labeled anti-police by the unions.

As Black Law Enforcement Professionals, we have even witnessed police unions turn a blind eye when Black Officers are in plain clothes of off-duty assaulted, shot, shot at or killed by white officers in all effort to protect the rights of one but not the other.

We do believe that it is time for honest and open conversation. The fact of the matter is; the conversation is long overdue. We give credit to Yonkers PBA President Olson for recently participating in a community forum hosted by WESTCOP. Other than Olson there has been no real dialog from Police Unions Presidents and the black community on issues of police brutality and oversight throughout the state of New York. Unfortunately, even Black Law Enforcement Union Presidents have been AWOL on honest discussions of criminal justice issues.

We officially challenge all Law Enforcement Union and Fraternal Organization Presidents to partner with local organizations like the NAACP, Urban League or WESTPAC to have community forums in the communities they serve and discuss police brutality, oversight, and implicit bias and how to build a better relationship with law enforcement and the community they serve.

Damon K. Jones

New York Representative

Blacks In Law Enforcement of America

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Mr. Jones is currently the New York State Representative of Blacks in Law Enforcement of America. Current member of the National Association of Blacks in Criminal Justice.  From 2006 to 2010. He served as the North East Region President of the National Black Police Association and as a national board member and Chair of the National Membership Committee of the National Black Police Association. Mr. Jones has been a guest commentator on New York radio stations WBLS (107.5 FM), WLIB (1190 am) WRKS (98.7 FM), WBAI (99.5 FM) and Westchester's WVOX (1460 am). Mr. Jones has appeared on local television broadcasts including Westchester News 12 “News Makers” and Aljazeera America. You can now hear Damon every Sunday on the People Before Politics Radio Show on wwwinthmixxradio.com

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Blacks in Law enforcement will continue to express “ Black” as it refers to people of color that are law enforcement professionals. The emphasis is on the common experience and determination of the people of African, Afro-Caribbean and Asian origin that opposes the effects of the policies and procedures in the history of our Justice System, that are based on racial bias and disproportionality.
Address: 405 Tarrytown Rd. #1318 White Plains, New York 10607 Phone: 914-525-5288 Email: bleausa11@gmail.com

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