SAN FRANCISCO (CBS SF) — Community members are angry after the San Francisco Police Officers Association published a parody on the Black Lives Matter movement.
At the top of the back page of the San Francisco Police Officers Association’s August 2016 newsletter is a picture of two Labradors. One black, one white. The dogs are wearing signs around their necks as a parody on the Black Lives Matter movement – though many don’t think it’s funny.
And now there’s backlash for a department struggling to repair its relationship with the community.
It’s a sensitive time in the community and this is a sensitive topic. The motive behind the picture is unclear. Maybe it was supposed be humorous, but there are plenty of people who think it’s disrespectful.
The subtitle of the picture says it was sent in by a woman named Esther Woods, a supporter of the police officers’ union.
The picture was still a part of the newsletter’s online format Friday night.
Perhaps the picture was an effort at de-escalation by the San Francisco Police Officers’ Association, but whatever the motive, it has had the opposite effect on many, including Mayor Ed Lee.
Lee said, “Given the backlash to those images people are going to find that unacceptable. Do better.”
The mayor also said, “Whenever you are trying to make cultural change in the community there are going to be hiccups along the way.”
But it’s a bit more than a hiccup to members of the Black Lives Matter movement.
Folks who protested just a few days ago, say they think the photo is a slap in the face. The union wasn’t available for comment, but the mayor said he plans to have a conversation with the union.
The conversation, Lee said, is “going to be about practicality. If you want to tone it down, let’s not have images that do the opposite.”