Harrisburg, PA – The Pennsylvania state troopers’ union has demanded an apology from Pennsylvania Governor Tom Wolf for perpetuating the false narrative that law enforcement officers are racist murderers.
Wolf included his anti-police views in a letter he issued to all state employees regarding the Juneteenth state holiday on June 19, WHTM reported.
The governor told state workers they would be getting the day off on June 18 in observance of the Juneteenth holiday, which falls on a Saturday this year, WHTM reported.
“Juneteenth is a celebration of the progress we have made as a nation towards equality and justice for all,” Wolf declared. “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.”
“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,” the governor added.
Wolf made his insulting proclamation during National Police Week, which took place from May 8 through May 15, WHTM reported.
Pennsylvania State Troopers Association President Dave Kennedy told the news outlet the governor’s comment was “a slap in the face to every police officer.”
“He’s spit in our faces,” Kennedy railed. “For the governor to use that platform to continue to drive the false narrative that police officers are murdering racists is despicable…It’s disgusting and he owes us an apology. A real apology.”
Kennedy further alleged Wolf had access to a stockpile of personal protective equipment during the COVID-19 pandemic, but when troopers asked for masks, he claimed he couldn’t get any, WHTM reported.
He noted that troopers asked for COVID-19 vaccines because they are constantly in contact with members of the public who have contracted the virus, but that Wolf “ignored” them and prioritized smokers and teachers working from home with regards to the vaccine rollout.
“Over the past year, we’ve taken the high road, even as we’ve been spit on for the actions of a few,” Kennedy said in the statement. “Troopers stood the line protecting people’s rights to protest us. Even Gov. Tom Wolf marched in protest in Harrisburg against law enforcement, while troopers surrounded him to make sure he was safe. One of those troopers even contracted COVID-19.”
“We lost a trooper to this virus in a station parking lot, and never heard from this governor,” Kennedy said. “He offered no thanks for the trooper’s sacrifice. To this day, the Wolf administration never did anything to ensure troopers received vaccinations.”
Despite Wolf’s dismissiveness, troopers continued to carry out their duties each day.
“We stayed silent and conducted ourselves with dignity and professionalism because we are the Pennsylvania State Police,” Kennedy wrote. “But we will not remain silent when Gov. Wolf insulted law enforcement during the recent National Police Week.”
The union president said troopers have no problem with Juneteenth, but that Wolf’s comments about law enforcement were flat-out wrong.
“Let me be clear: Pennsylvania state troopers support the Juneteenth holiday,” he said. “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.”
“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,” Kennedy continued. “Gov. Wolf, you owe all law enforcement officers, troopers and their loved ones an apology.”
He noted that troopers are ready and willing to talk about these issues and want to move forward together to benefit the entire commonwealth, but that they cannot do so alone.
“We cannot have a real conversation as long as the leader of our commonwealth pits everyone against the police. This must end now,” Kennedy wrote.
Wolf’s office issued a response on Monday, saying the intent of the Juneteenth memo “was to acknowledge that there is still work to be done across the nation towards equality and justice for all,” WHTM reported.
“We are sorry that this message was obscured, and we hope all Pennsylvanians can observe Juneteenth and recognize its importance,” the governor’s office said. “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.”