The Baltimore Police union is hitting back at “Saturday Night Live” for a recent sketch, saying the series took an unnecessarily “sharp jab” at the department.
The Oct. 13 “SNL” episode hosted by Seth Meyers featured a skit called “Traffic Stop.” In the sketch, cast members Leslie Jones and Ego Nwodim sport “Baltimore Police” badges as they play “thirsty cops” who repeatedly use sexual innuendo to hit on Meyers’s character, who was pulled over for a traffic violation.
In a letter to “SNL” creator Lorne Michaels posted Wednesday by Gene Ryan, the president of Baltimore's Fraternal Order of Police chapter, Ryan writes, “We believe that humor, and the laughter that results, is necessary in all of our lives and we know that the iconic Saturday Night Live has long been a source of that requirement.”
But, says Ryan, the group takes “exception with the grossly inapt portrayal of our members during this particular sketch.”
We have sent the following letter to Mr. Lorne Michaels, producer of Saturday Night Live, on behalf of our members. pic.twitter.com/sceWejrLJI— Baltimore City FOP (@FOP3) October 17, 2018
“As you are most likely aware,” writes Ryan, “the Baltimore Police Department is currently a very beleaguered agency in the throes of massive amounts of criticism and disrespect,” which is seeing many of its members “struggling with their choice of career.”
“It is a difficult time in Baltimore and to portray our brave, hard-working members with such an inappropriate manner is very unfortunate.”
Baltimore’s law enforcement has made headlines for several controversies in recent months. In August, a Baltimore police officer resigned after a video of him repeatedly punching a man went viral. Just months earlier, a former Baltimore police officer was sentenced to 25 years in prison by a federal judge in Maryland for leading a corrupt unit that planted drugs and stole cash from suspects.
Last year, the Department of Justice said it would not bring federal charges against six Baltimore police officers who were involved in the 2015 arrest and eventual death of 25-year-old Freddie Gray, who died from a spinal injury that he suffered following his arrest.
In Ryan’s open letter to Michaels, he said while he appreciates that NBC’s late-night comedy show has “long provided our nation with the opportunity to laugh, oftentimes at ourselves” the sketch “fell short of being humorous.”
Instead, Ryan — who lost a September union reelection bid and is poised to step down next week — writes, it felt like “a sharp jab at a group of people who had dedicated their lives to serving others.”