A Local Police Organization Offers to Hire Cops Called Out for Abuse

Cops banded together last week to stand up for their right to use force whenever they deem necessary. After the suspension of two Buffalo police officers who pushed an unarmed senior citizen last week, 57 fellow officers resigned from the riot squad in protest. Could it be more obvious that some cops are more dedicated to each other than they are the communities they’re sworn to protect? Turns out, yes.

In a now-deleted Facebook post, the Brevard County Fraternal Order of Police offered jobs to those who resigned from the Buffalo PD’s Emergency Response Team, touting lower taxes in Florida and “no spineless leadership, or dumb mayors rambling on at press conferences.” (The offer was also extended to the Atlanta officers who were caught on tape brutalizing two Black college students as they left a protest in late May.)

The Fraternal Order of Police, a national law enforcement organization with 2,000-plus local chapters representing more than 300,000 officers, has long been criticized for thwarting police reform efforts.

But apparently recruiting officers defending abuse was a step too far. On Monday, Bert Gamin, the Brevard County FOP’s president, issued an apology, explaining “that my post was insensitive and wrong and that it did not convey the actual thought that I was trying to communicate.”

“I let my emotions and frustration get the better of me as a result of all the continually negative media portrayals of law enforcement,” he wrote. “My intent was to respond to some of the negative messaging and offer a supportive message to all the men and women in law enforcement. Clearly, I failed doing so.”

Clearly.

But as a representative of the media, I feel it’s only fair to address Gamin’s concerns. I am sorry that our coverage of law enforcement brutally attacking civilians has upset him. Our intent was to hold public servants accountable for doing things like slashing tires at protests and gassing protestors. If it helps, the night before the Buffalo PD knocked down a 75-year-old man at the same spot near City Hall, press posted a photo of officers kneeling.

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We didn't know what to expect when we told you we needed to raise $400,000 before our fiscal year closed on June 30, and we're thrilled to report that our incredible community of readers contributed some $415,000 to help us keep charging as hard as we can during this crazy year.

You just sent an incredible message: that quality journalism doesn't have to answer to advertisers, billionaires, or hedge funds; that newsrooms can eke out an existence thanks primarily to the generosity of its readers. That's so powerful. Especially during what's been called a "media extinction event" when those looking to make a profit from the news pull back, the Mother Jones community steps in.

The months and years ahead won't be easy. Far from it. But there's no one we'd rather face the big challenges with than you, our committed and passionate readers, and our team of fearless reporters who show up every day.

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