Target: Charlie Beck, chief of the Los Angeles Police Department
Goal: Fire active police officers involved in a racist and insensitive song performed at a police department function
The Los Angeles Police Department has a horrible history of racism and violence. This sorry history has most recently reared its ugly head in the form of an incredibly insensitive song about police murder victim Michael Brown that was performed at a department function. Demand that officers involved in the performance be immediately fired.
At a party held by a retired officer at an off-site Elks Lodge in a Los Angeles suburb attended by many members of the department, a private investigator and former officer named Gary Fishell performed a parody version of Jim Croce’s 1973 “Bad, Bad Leroy Brown.” Sure that the room would “get a kick out of it,” Fishell replaced the words and sang about Michael Brown, the murder victim of Ferguson, Missouri police officer Darren Wilson. “Michael Brown learned a lesson about a messin’ with a badass policeman,”sang Fishell, continuing with “Two men took to fightin’/And Michael punched in through the door/And Michael looked like some old Swiss cheese/His brain was splattered on the floor.”
In response to widespread criticism for the song, LAPD Police Chief Charlie Beck announced an internal investigation to determine whether any active department officers were involved in the song and its performance. Sign the petition below to demand that any officers found to have been involved with Fishell’s song be immediately fired from their job and any retired officers’ taxpayer-funded pensions be revoked.
Dear Chief Beck,
I am writing you today about the recent controversy surrounding Gary Fishell’s performance at the Elks Lodge in Glendale, California. Though it’s good that you’ve launched an investigation into whether or not any officers in your department were involved with this, too often such internal inquiries prove to be nothing more than public relations propaganda. I urge you to exercise full authority when the results of the investigation are brought to light to demonstrate otherwise.
As you no doubt are aware, police departments around the country are under extreme scrutiny due to their continued murdering of African-American men and their continued ability to escape consequence for their actions. Time after time, police prove themselves to be completely out of touch with these grievances, revealing their active willingness in perpetuating a culture of white supremacy and, indeed, their utter refusal to consider critically their position in society or take seriously and in good faith any criticisms leveled against them. The incident at the Elks Lodge is just the most recent example of police and police departments’ utter obliviousness to the situation. How on earth could anyone think such a song appropriate? How on earth did none of the officers present stop Fishell when he sang those terrible, offensive lyrics about Michael Brown?
It is in light of this context that I ask you to exercise your full authority when this internal investigation is completed. Any officer complicit with this performance or involved in any way has already demonstrated their callousness and horrible judgment. I demand that you fire any active officers who may have been involved with this performance and revoke the pensions of any retired officers present.
[Your Name Here]
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