Pennsylvania State Troopers Association President David Kennedy has demanded an apology after Democratic Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Wolf promoted “a false narrative that police are racist murderers.”
“It’s clear Gov. Wolf would rather play politics. We won’t,” Kennedy said, according to PennLive.
“Troopers want to have real conversations about moving forward together to benefit all residents of this great commonwealth. But we cannot have a real conversation as long as the leader of our commonwealth pits everyone against the police. This must end now.”
The state trooper association president was responding to a statement Wolf released Friday declaring June 18 a state holiday in honor of Juneteenth.
June 19 is the official day of celebration of the emancipation of slaves and has been officially observed in Pennsylvania since 2019.
“Juneteenth is a celebration of the progress we have made as a nation towards equality and justice for all. Sadly, the continued death of African Americans at the hands of police and rise in violent attacks against Asian Americans are painful reminders that racism and intolerance are still with us today,” the Democratic governor wrote, according to WTRF-TV.
“This Juneteenth we have an opportunity to unite against injustice and create lasting change that will make Pennsylvania and our nation a better place for everyone.”
Kennedy was appalled that the governor had used examples of police brutality to insult police officers during National Police Week, which is recognized from May 8 to May 15.
“Let me be clear: Pennsylvania state troopers support the Juneteenth holiday. But for Gov. Wolf to use his platform to further push a false narrative that police are racist murderers is nothing less than the worst kind of political pandering. It only serves to further divide our nation at the expense of officers who already work incredibly dangerous jobs,” Kennedy said.
“And to do it during National Police Week is nothing less than symbolically spitting in the faces of all police officers and troopers who have given everything. And for their families, this insult rips open a fresh wound.”
He added, “Gov. Wolf, you owe all law enforcement officers, troopers and their loved ones an apology. A real apology.”
Kennedy has alleged that Wolf did not provide law enforcement officers with masks during the coronavirus pandemic even though there was a stockpile at the Farm Show Complex, according to WTRF.
Kennedy also called for state troopers and first responders to be among the first to receive vaccinations in March, Fox News reported.
Lyndsay Kensinger, a spokeswoman for the governor replied to Kennedy’s criticism by saying that the governor’s statement was to show that “there is still work to be done,” according to Penn Live.
“With the message, the commonwealth sought to invite participation in Juneteenth Day, a holiday that marks the emancipation from slavery for African-Americans. The intent of the email was to acknowledge that there is still work to be done across the nation towards equality and justice for all,” Kensinger said in a statement.
“We are sorry that this message was obscured, and we hope all Pennsylvanians can observe Juneteenth and recognize its importance.”
She added, “Law Enforcement officers play a vital role in protecting Pennsylvania citizens and supporting our communities, and we are sorry if anyone took offense to the message.”
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