The largest police union in the United States has requested that Amazon follow Walmart’s lead and stop selling Black Lives Matter merchandise they have stated is offensive.
In an open letter to Amazon, Fraternal Order of Police president Chuck Canterbury urged CEO Jeff Bezos to stand by the police union and increase “the bonds of trust between the men and women of law enforcement and the communities they serve” by stopping the sale a shirt on their website that says “BULLETPROOF: Black Lives Matter.”
The FOP recently succeeded in having merchandise removed from Walmart’s online website after they accused the company of “allowing third-party sellers to profit from racial division,” the Guardian reported.
“Commercializing our differences will not help our local police and communities to build greater trust and respect for one another,” Canterbury wrote. “Turning a buck on strained relationships will not contribute to the healing process.”
Canterbury described Amazon as a “pretty liberal marketer,” and told the Guardian the rhetoric featured on some of their clothing has prompted a lot of tension between officers and members of their community.
The issue was relevant, he said, because of the “amount of violence demonstrated at Black Lives Matter marches and the fact that eight police officers had been assassinated while protecting Black Lives Matter protests.”
Canterbury said he was referring to officers who were shot in separate incidents in Dallas and Baton Rouge last summer.
The gunmen in those shootings were not affiliated with the Black Lives Matter movement. In Dallas, a gunman shot dead five officers during an anti-violence protest. In Baton Rouge, three officers were killed in an ambush.
Canterbury told the Guardian he believed nonetheless that anti-police rhetoric in the name of the protest group “had inspired people of feeble minds to strike out at police officers”.
“It happened as a result of the rhetoric of different BLM groups,” he said.
The third-party vendor selling the “BULLETPROOF” shirts was Connecticut-based Old Glory Merchandise. The owner of the company, Glenn Morelli, told CNN that he had already decided to remove the shirt from his site before it gained national attention.
“It wasn’t a big seller at all,” he told the news station. “The Blue Lives Matter [shirts] sell more than the Black Lives Matter or bulletproof shirts combined. We don’t like to offend anybody … You have to sell all different kinds of shirts, It’s hard to make everyone happy.”
The “BULLETPROOF” apparel has been listed as “currently unavailable” on Amazon’s website, but the listing is still up.
The FOP letter to Bezos can be seen below:
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