FOP takes issue with convention speakers
Updated: July 21, 2016 — 1:08 AM EDT
by Julia Terruso, Staff Writer
Philadelphia’s police union issued a scathing rebuke of Hillary Clinton for including relatives of victims of police shootings at the Democratic National Convention but no relatives of slain police officers.
Fraternal Order of Police Lodge 5 said in a statement that it was “insulted by the exclusion of police widows and family members” as speakers at the convention, from Monday to next Thursday.
“It is sad that to win an election Mrs. Clinton must pander to the interests of people who do not know all the facts, while the men and women they seek to destroy are outside protecting the political institutions of this country,” the statement read. “Mrs. Clinton you should be ashamed of yourself if that is possible.”
The statement came days after the Clinton campaign announced that former President Bill Clinton would speak Tuesday night along with members of Mothers of the Movement, a group that includes Gwen Carr, mother of Eric Garner; Sybrina Fulton, mother of Trayvon Martin; and Lezley McSpadden, mother of Michael Brown.
Clinton’s campaign responded Wednesday, noting that two members of law enforcement are scheduled to speak at the convention, including former Philadelphia Police Commissioner Charles H. Ramsey.
“As Hillary Clinton has said, we need to support heroic police officers who put their lives on the line every day as well as listen to the voices of mothers who have lost their children,” said Stephanie Formas, Pennsylvania communications director for Hillary for America.
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Reached by phone, FOP vice president Roosevelt Poplar said the union felt the speaker list was “a slap in the face to our men and women and their families, who were victimized by the same type of violence, especially in the past weeks when we’ve had eight officers assassinated.”
Clinton’s campaign released a list of speakers Monday that included Joe Sweeney, a former New York detective working on Sept. 11, 2001, when the World Trade Center was hit.
On Wednesday, the campaign said, Ramsey, former police chief in Washington as well as here, will speak.
The state’s police union also criticized Clinton’s speaking lineup.
Staff writer Chris Palmer contributed to this article.