The largest police union in the U.S. demanded that Amazon.com stop selling T-shirts and hoodies emblazoned with the phrases “Bulletproof: Black Lives Matter” and “Hands Up, Don’t Shoot.” from a third-party vendor that supports the Black Lives Matter movement.

The Fraternal Order of Police (FOP) President Chuck Canterbury wrote in a letter to Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos to support the union in “increasing the bonds of trust between the men and women of law enforcement and the communities they serve.”

“Commercializing our differences and perpetuating the myths which harm the relationships between the protectors and their communities is wrong at any time of year, but it is especially egregious now,” Canterbury wrote. “I understand that these are third-party sales, but Amazon does have the ability to prohibit the sale of products which are offensive to the public and which may damage your company’s good name amongst FOP members and other active and retired law enforcement officers.”

Walmart removed the “Bulletproof: Black Lives Matter” shirt from its store after the union called it “offensive.” The shirts were being sold through Walmart’s website by Connecticut based retailer Old Glory Merchandise.  Amazon has yet to follow Walmart and remove the shirt.

The FOP, which represents 330,000 members nationwide, said it was opposed to the word “bulletproof,” which it found offensive, and not because the shirt was promoting Black Lives Matter.  Canterbury said he wasn’t surprised that Amazon wouldn’t remove the listing and called the website a “pretty liberal marketer.”  He added that the issue was still important because of the “amount of violence demonstrated at Black Lives Matter marches and the fact that eight police officers had been assassinated while protecting Black Lives Matter protests,” – referring to the police killings in Dallas and Baton Rouge over the summer.

Canterbury said that the union would continue to pressure retailers who sell the Black Lives Matter merchandise until the group makes it clear that don’t approve of anti-police violence.  Amazon has not released any statements regarding the matter other than to say that the seller of the shirt removed the item from its website.  The shirt was still on the Amazon.com website but listed as “no longer available”.

Many have shown skepticism over Amazon’s claim that the seller removed the shirt, saying Amazon bowed to the union’s pressure.  While this particular shirt is no longer available, there is still hundreds of other Black Lives Matter merchandise available for sale through the online retailer.

Advertisements