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US police union demands halt to sale of Black Lives Matter shirts

US Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-MN) (L) talks with Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) during a rally with fellow Democrats before voting on H.R. 1, or the People Act, on the East Steps of the US Capitol on March 08, 2019 in Washington, DC. (AFP photo)
A Black Lives Matter T-shirt

The largest US police union has demanded from major online retailer Amazon to halt its sale of Black Lives Matter shirts -- citing it as “offensive” to police officers -- a day after Walmart stores complied with a similar demand.

In an open letter to Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos, president of the Fraternal Order of Police (FOP), Chuck Canterbury, called on the company to “prohibit the use of the Amazon name and website for the retail” of shirts and sweatshirts with slogans “Bulletproof”, “Black Lives Matter” and “Hands Up, Don’t Shoot,” arguing they spread of “urban myths.”

“I wanted to let you know that my members are very upset that you and Amazon are complicit in the sale of this offensive merchandise,” Canterbury added, further warning that it could “damage your company’s good name amongst FOP members and other active and retired law enforcement officers.”

This is while the merchandise promoting the slogans of the Black Lives Matter (BLM) movement that opposes growing police brutality across the US against minorities in general and African Americans in particular, have been marketed by a number of retailers during the current Christmas shopping season.

Neither Amazon nor BLM have yet issued official reaction to the threatening FOB statement and the shirts continue to be available for sale on Amazon’s website, according to press reports.

The FOP’s letter to Amazon came just a day after a similar letter to the Walmart corporation, which also sells BLM shirts online but decided to pull the "bulletproof" merchandise from its sale while issuing a statement claiming expressions of “concerns from customers.”

Meanwhile, the president of FOB, which always favors its members in police brutality cases regardless of the circumstances, said it would continue to exert pressure on retailers to halt the sale of similar merchandise, “until Black Lives Matter makes statements that they do not approve of violence.”

This is while the BLM has never advocated violence against police but has persistently called for accountability for the continued rise in police brutality targeting blacks and other minorities.


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