On July 9, 2016 the Arizona Republic ran an editorial cartoon by Steve Benson depicting a white police officer making a traffic stop on an African American citizen with the following caption: “Making a traffic stop. Send me a body bag.” This tasteless and reprehensible piece was printed only two days after five Dallas Police Officers were gunned down, in cold blood, while providing protection and security to citizens involved in a large protest. The scene depicted by Benson’s cartoon, casts police in a negative light by labeling all as murdering racists.
Police across America stand in the gap every day to provide safety and protection for the citizens we serve regardless of race, color, creed, national origin, or sexual orientation. We stand for the rule of law and work daily to protect the freedoms and Constitutional Rights of the citizens we serve to include freedoms enumerated in the First Amendment to the Constitution.
While Steve Benson and the Arizona Republic have the right to freedom of speech and a right to express opinions, those same rights extend to police officers, their families and the citizens who support their police officers. The Phoenix Law Enforcement Association (PLEA), along with The Arizona Police Association (APA) and the National Association of Police Organizations (NAPO) out of Washington DC stand in unity in their condemnation of this irresponsible piece authored by Steve Benson, the only purpose of which is to promote divisiveness, incite anger against law enforcement and fan the flames of an already tense situation on a national level.
PLEA is requesting that Officers and their families, along with friends and supporters of law enforcement stand together in a demonstration of unity and show of support for law enforcement across Arizona by cancelling their subscriptions to the Arizona Republic.
CLICK HERE to read the letter from PLEA to the Arizona Republic
CLICK HERE to read the letter from the Arizona Police Association (APA) to the Arizona Republic
CLICK HERE to read the letter from the National Association of Police Organizations (NAPO) to the Arizona Republic