The pinnacle of the Pennsylvania State Trooper Affiliation referred to as Monday for Democratic Gov. Tom Wolf to challenge an apology for remarks he made towards police in a current letter to state staff concerning the Juneteenth vacation.
The union’s criticism centered on the content material of Wolf’s letter final Friday informing staff that Friday, June 18 can be a state vacation this 12 months. Juneteenth, an annual commemoration of the top of slavery in america, has been formally noticed in Pennsylvania since 2019.
“Juneteenth is a celebration of the progress we now have made as a nation in the direction of equality and justice for all,” Wolf mentioned within the letter. “Sadly, the continued demise of African Individuals by the hands of police … are painful reminders that racism and intolerance are nonetheless with us immediately.”
Wolf’s letter drew a pointy condemnation from PTSA President David Kennedy.
“Let me be clear: Pennsylvania state troopers help the Juneteenth vacation. However for Gov. Wolf to make use of his platform to additional push a false narrative that police are racist murderers is nothing lower than the worst type of political pandering,” Kennedy mentioned in an announcement obtained by PennLive.com. “It solely serves to additional divide our nation on the expense of officers who already work extremely harmful jobs.”
Kennedy accused Wolf of ignoring violent crime in Philadelphia.
“It’s clear Gov. Wolf would somewhat play politics. We received’t,” Kennedy added. “Troopers need to have actual conversations about shifting ahead collectively to learn all residents of this nice commonwealth. However we can not have an actual dialog so long as the chief of our commonwealth pits everybody towards the police. This should finish now.”
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Wolf’s workplace didn’t instantly return a request for remark.
Representatives for Pennsylvania state troops have been crucial of Wolf’s administration in current weeks. In March, Kennedy publicly referred to as for the governor to prioritize state troopers and different first responders for vaccinations.
Kennedy additionally alleged that the state had failed to supply face masks for state troopers.