Some employees at Ford have sent a letter to CEO Jim Hackett asking the company to stop making police vehicles.
According to the employees, the vehicles have been used as accessories to police brutality and oppression and therefore Ford must end production.
Seriously, it actually says this…
“Throughout history, the vehicles that Ford employees design and build have been used as accessories to police brutality and oppression.”
Ford employees have asked the automaker to stop building police cars, according to a Jalopnik report published Wednesday. The request comes as countless Black Lives Matter protests continue throughout America and around the globe, sparked by the killing of George Floyd.
"Throughout history, the vehicles that Ford employees design and build have been used as accessories to police brutality and oppression," workers wrote in a letter to Ford CEO Jim Hackett and Chairman Bill Ford, according to Jalopnik. "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."
Multiple videos have been published showing law enforcement officers driving Ford Police Interceptors into crowds of protestors at several events throughout the US. While other companies' vehicles have been similarly used and Ford's Police Interceptors make up a small portion of the Blue Oval's overall sales, the Dearborn, Michigan-based automaker sells more police vehicles than any other automaker in the US.
The letter to Hackett and Ford came from a group of employees that "call for Ford to cease development, production and sale of all custom police vehicles and products."
For his part, Hacket refutes the idea that Ford making police vehicles is at all controversial.
Fox Business has more:
Ford CEO Jim Hackett defended the automaker's decision to make and sell police interceptor vehicles following concerns from the company's employees, according to an internal memo obtained by FOX Business.
Hackett stressed that both he and chairman Bill Ford "believe deeply that there is no room for the systemic repression and racism that have been exhibited by law enforcement encounters gone wrong."
"We’ve said clearly that Black Lives Matter and I am personally driving a review of our Diversity and Inclusion rituals, practices and behaviors," he said. "We do believe strongly that more transparency and accountability is required in police operations."
He added that recent protests sparked by the death of George Floyd have brought "a very intensive and necessary spotlight on police training and reform."
However, he believes it is "not controversial that the Ford Police Interceptor helps officers do their job."
"The issues plaguing police credibility have nothing to do with the vehicles they’re driving. In fact, as we imagine the future power of our connected vehicles, smarter Ford vehicles can be used to not only improve officers’ ability to protect and serve, but also provide data that can make police safer and more accountable," Hackett said. "Just think, dating back to the Model T, Ford has more than 100 years in serving first responders and that leadership over the decades has been earned by co-developing our purpose-built vehicles and technologies with police and emergency agencies to make our vehicles the number one choice."
Hackett argued that putting an end to law enforcement use of Police Interceptors would "be doing harm to [police officers'] safety and making it harder for them to do their job."
"I believe these unfortunate circumstances present Ford with an even greater opportunity to not only innovate new solutions but also leverage our unique position to support the dialogue and reform needed to create safer communities for all," Hackett said.
As a result, Hackett said Ford would "continue to be a powerful voice for Black Lives Matter, holding ourselves accountable for significant change, while also continuing to help keep communities safe by producing Police Interceptors and partnering with law enforcement in new ways to strongly support the safety for all members of society."
"I do appreciate people speaking their mind to me on this issue – it helped me generate this note to explain why we are continuing our commitment to police forces all over the world in our trusted products," Hackett said. "Thank you for caring so deeply about the Company and our people, and for all you do for Ford."
Maybe the CEO is thinking of the big picture here.
By big picture, of course I mean all the money he'll lose if they don't make police vehicles...