A group of employees at the Ford Motor Co. has asked the car maker to stop building vehicles for police departments. Ford has been manufacturing vehicles for law enforcement agencies for 70 years.
Approximately 100 employees allegedly signed on to a letter to CEO Jim Hackett and Chairman Bill Ford asking for the change.
“On May 25th, 2020 George Floyd was murdered by Minneapolis Police, alongside a Ford Police Interceptor,” the letter reads. “Days later, police officers drove Ford Police Interceptors into crowds of protesters in New York City and Los Angeles. During these past weeks, our vehicles have been used to deploy chemical weapons banned by the Geneva Convention.”
“Throughout our history, the vehicles that Ford employees design and build have been used as accessories to police brutality and oppression. We know that while many join, support, or supply law enforcement with good intentions, these racist policing practices that plague our society are historic and systemic—a history and system perpetuated by Ford for over 70 years—ever since Ford introduced the first-ever police package in 1950. As an undeniable part of that history and system, we are long overdue to “think and act differently” on our role in racism.”
Ford makes about two-thirds of the police vehicles in use in the U.S. It’s unclear how many employee jobs would be affected if manufacturing for these vehicles suddenly came to a halt.
According to reports, Hackett “quickly rejected the idea of Ford halting sales of police vehicles.”
Photo by Jason Lawrence via Flickr