On Thursday, October 19, national Fraternal Order of Police (FOP) president Chuck Canterbury sent a letter to President Trump and Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke in regards to the National Park Service (NPS) awarding a $98,000 grant to celebrate the Black Panther Party.
The grant was scheduled to be given to the University of California-Berkeley (UCB) “to memorialize a history that brought meaning to lives”, according to the FOP’s website.
In the letter, Canterbury said “…as far as we are concerned the only meaning they brought to any lives was grief to the families of their victims.”
He expressed “outrage and shock” on behalf of the FOP’s more than 330,000 members.
According to the FOP’s research “members of this militant anti-American group” are responsible for the murders of 16 police officers since the Black Panther Party (BPP) formed.
Canterbury also said in the letter that one of those police officer victims was U.S. Park Ranger Kenneth C. Patrick. On August 5, 1973, Ranger Patrick was “murdered in cold blood” by three members of the BPP.
Ranger Patrick had initiated a traffic stop on a car containing three members of the Black Panthers. They shot him as he approached their vehicle.
The Black Panthers started to leave, but returned and executed Ranger Patrick by shooting him in the head. They then stole his revolver before driving off.
One suspect who was convicted of the murder of Ranger Patrick is still in prison, and still claims membership in the BPP. He also claims that he is a political prisoner.
Canterbury said that “it is appalling that the National Park Service, Ranger Patrick’s own agency, now proposes to partner with UCB and two active members of this violent group.”
The FBI has described the BPP as “a black extremist organization” which “advocated the use of violence and guerilla tactics to overthrow the U.S. government.”
Canterbury continued in the letter and noted how people at this time strongly feel that statutes and other memorials to dark times in this country’s past be removed from public lands.
He asked why the NPS would seek to honor a group that advocated the use of violence against this country, and one that the BPP perceived as the enemy.
On Friday, he said that officials from the Department of the Interior had contacted him and advised him that the award had not yet been made.
The officials said that although there had been a Notice of Intent to award the grant to UCB, that the federal fiscal year had ended before the money could be handed out.
These officials and others in the administration assured Canterbury that there was “a low chance” that the grant would be awarded. Canterbury said that his goal was to make it “a zero chance.”
He has started a petition to the White House asking President Trump to stop this funding to honor the Black Panther Party, who are responsible for the murders of 16 police officers since its inception. You can sign that petition at this link.
Please be sure to like and share on Facebook to help get the word out to stop taxpayer money from promoting this group.