As the conversation surrounding the relationship between law enforcement and communities of color here in the United States continues, Ford Motor Company executives have begun to face growing criticism from a group of employees who are calling for The Blue Oval to end its relationship with police departments across the nation and refrain from building police vehicles.
According to a report by Jalopnik, group of around 100 employees drafted a series of letters to company executives asking them to rethink their current role as the main supplier of police vehicles across the nation. Ford themselves state that their police vehicles account for 58 percent of all cruisers used by law enforcement in America’s 50 largest cities. These letters from employees were leaked by Jalopnik, and have since made waves as Ford becomes the first U.S. automaker being asked to grapple with this situation.
“The issues plaguing police credibility have nothing to do with the vehicles they’re driving,” said Ford CEO Jim Hackett in an internal letter on Wednesday. “ In fact, as we imagine the future power of our connected vehicles, 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.”
That said, there are no indications that the Blue Oval has any plans to slow down their relationship with law enforcement agencies. However, at the end of June Ford announced that they would be suspending all social media advertising for 30 days, as the company re-evaluates its presence online. The pledge came as a number of companies spoke out against Facebook and their failure to moderate hate speech and racial injustice on their platform.
Back in June, the automaker reportedly sent out a message to employees asking for their input and suggestions regarding issues with racial and social injustice. Conversations within the company regarding these issues have supposedly not been contentious, despite Ford’s unwillingness to step away from the police vehicle segment.