Phoenix police union calls activist group’s travel advisory ‘publicity stunt’
PHOENIX — The union for Phoenix officers responded Thursday to an activist group urging “black and brown” travelers to use increased caution while traveling in the city.
After the Phoenix-based group Poder in Action issued the travel advisory last week, the Phoenix Law Enforcement Association issued a statement on the matter.
“The vast majority of the populace will view Poder’s statement for what it is, a publicity stunt heavy on emotion and inflammatory rhetoric designed to create racial divisiveness and the illusion that Phoenix Police officers are intentionally targeting minorities with deadly force,” the PLEA statement read.
“Like most activist organizations, Poder runs on controversy, and if there isn’t enough, they will generate their own as evidenced by their bogus travel advisory and banners they have been hanging up around town, some which accuse the police of committing acts of murder.”
Last Friday, Poder in Action issued a travel advisory in response to police violence in Phoenix.
According to the advisory, people of color were involved in 63 percent of officer-involved shootings in Phoenix but only make up 42 percent of the city’s population.
The 43rd officer-involved shooting in Phoenix this year occurred last Wednesday when police shot and killed a man they said attacked an officer.
Last year, there were 21 officer-involved shootings in Phoenix. The previous record was 33 in 2013.
“While the number of officer involved shootings (OIS’s) in 2018 is concerning, no group is more concerned than the officers who daily patrol the streets,” the PLEA statement read.
Of the 43 incidents, 20 resulted in fatalities. Sixteen suspects were Hispanic, 15 were white, nine were black and three were classified as Native American.
“Contrary to the image being ginned up by Poder of ‘black and brown people’ being targeted by police, the facts clearly show this not to be the case,” PLEA added.
“To suggest this as reality is an insult to not only all of the hard-working men and women who patrol our streets but to any citizen who read the data for themselves.”