Some Employees Are Requesting Ford Stops Building Police Cars
Over the last several weeks, corporations and organizations across America are re-examining their workplace diversity policies and insensitivities. Ford Motor Company is the latest to potentially have a situation where it will need to take a look at the way it operates. And it’s concerning the automaker’s role in law enforcement.
Jalopnik reported that they received an email stating several Ford employees have raised concerns about their employer manufacturing police vehicles. The letter was composed by employees of several different races. The employees’ letter to the leadership reportedly asked to stop making police vehicles. Ford has since confirmed the letter’s authenticity along with a discussion among the leadership where CEO Jim Hackett nixed the idea.
Leadership has called the discussion healthy and respectful with Hackett continuing to support Black Lives Matter. However, he said “smarter Ford vehicles can be used to not only improve officers’ ability to protect and serve but also provide data that can make police safer and more accountable.”
The Drive released a portion of the letter which reads:
Throughout our history, the vehicles that Ford employees design and build have been used as accessories to police brutality and oppression. We know that while many join, support, or supply law enforcement with good intentions, these racist policing practices that plague our society are historic and systemic—a history and system perpetuated by Ford for over 70 years—ever since Ford introduced the first-ever police package in 1950. As an undeniable part of that history and system, we are long overdue to “think and act differently” on our role in racism.
While it’s not a large portion of its sales, Ford has sold about 30,000 Police Interceptor vehicles annually.
This isn’t the first instance where this has happened with employees questioning leadership in regard to company policy. Employees across the country are asking questions about who gets contracts to produce what for use by police.