SAN FRANCISCO, Calif. (KRON) — A photo that appears to make light of the Black Lives Matter movement that was published in the San Francisco Police Union Newsletter is stirring up controversy.
“Right now, what’s going on in San Francisco and across the United States, nothing is funny about that,” NAACP spokesman Shawn Richard said.
The controversial photo shows a black dog wearing a sign that reads, “Black Labs Matter,” next to a light colored dog whose sign says, “All Labs Matter.”
It was published on the back page of the August issue of San Francisco Police Officer’s Association Journal after reportedly sent to the union by a supporter. Next to the picture, it reads, “Maybe it’s time we all just sit back and tone down the rhetoric.”
If it was meant to lighten the mood, the vice president of the San Francisco chapter of the NAACP certainly isn’t laughing.
“This is a serious matter right now. Don’t play with this because lives are being ruined lives are being taken and families are mourning still,” Richard said.
Richard said they have reached out to the union’s sergeant of arms, and a meeting between the two groups is expected to happen within the next couple of weeks.
“He was very apologetic,” Richard said.
The president of the Officers for Justice, which represents SFPD Officers of Color, believes that the POA owes them an apology as well.
“I thought that it was actually insensitive, it was dehumanizing, and I was appalled once again at the actions and the conduct of the San Francisco Police Officer’s Association,” Sgt. Yulanda Williams said.
“If we want to tone it down, let’s not have images that do the opposite,” Mayor Ed Lee said.
The mayor said he plans on continuing to talk with the union and those in the Black Lives Matter movement, as to not derail his goal of getting police reforms implemented at SFPD.
“Whenever you’re trying to make culture change, this is what we’re trying to do withing the police department, there’s going to be hiccups,” Lee said.
KRON reached out to the president of SFPOA to see what he has to say about the picture in the journal, and so far, we’ve had no comment.