In a move that adequately speaks volumes, the Black Police Officer’s Association in St. Louis decided to vocalize their support for the St. Louis Rams – who were brought to task by the white St. Louis Police Officers Association for initiating the “Hands Up, Don’t Shoot” gesture a few minutes before the pre-game.
The Rams were blasted by for their decision to evoke the spirit of Ferguson and threatened with a possible fine and suspension. They were also ordered to issue a formal apology for their behavior. Both sides have conflicting accounts of whether or not an apology did happen – The team denies they did while the association says they did receive one.
Now the Black Police Officer’s Association is officially standing by the players, and this was demonstrated through a statement that was shared by Gloria McCollum who serves as the association’s general counsel.
ST. LOUIS CITY AFRICAN AMERICAN POLICE OFFICERS SUPPORT THE RAMS PLAYERS ACTIONS
The Statements of the St. Louis Police Officers Association does not represent the opinion of a majority of African American Officers.
General Counsel, Attorney Gloria McCollum, on behalf of THE ETHICAL SOCIETY OF POLICE- St. Louis, STATES:
“THE ETHICAL SOCIETY OF POLICE, is the primary voice of African
American Police Officers in St. Louis City, and as such it COMPLETELY SUPPORTS THE ACTIONS OF THE ST. LOUIS RAMS FOOTBALL PLAYERS IN WHICH THEY SHOWED SUPPORT FOR THE FAMILY OF MICHAEL BROWN BY ENTERING THE STADIUM WITH THEIR HANDS UP.
We think that their actions were commendable and that they should not be ridiculed, disciplined or punished for taking a stand on this very important issue which is of great concern around the world and especially in the community where these players work.
THE STATEMENTS OF THE ST. LOUIS POLICE OFFICERS
ASSOCIATION DO NOT REFLECT THE OPINIONS OF THE MAJORITY OF AFRICAN AMERICAN POLICE OFFICERS IN THE DEPARTMENT BECAUSE THERE ARE NO AFRICAN AMERICAN OFFICERS ON THEIR GOVERNING BOARD AND THEY HAVE A MINIMAL AMOUNT OF AFRICAN AMERICAN MEMBERS.
The Ethical Society of Police has been the primary bridge between African American community and the police department for many years. The Ethical Society will use its best efforts to continue to work with the community leaders and the Department of Justice to address issues that affect our community such as racial profiling, police brutality and disparities in hiring and disciplining practices of African American Officers.
GLORIA J. MCCOLLUM, General Counsel for the Ethical Society of Police, – St. Louis, Misouri
The fact that there is a split in the police associations speaks volumes about the racial divide plaguing one of the most segregated cities in the country. And the fact that the white officers doesn’t recognize the significance of The Rams showing their support for the Ferguson protesters is a clear indication of why race relations is fractured to the point that it spreads into unlawful conduct and unnecessary violence.