Ford employees ask company to stop making police cruisers

Ford employees ask company to stop making police cruisers
© Spencer Platt/Getty Images

Roughly 100 Ford employees have asked the auto company to stop its production and selling of police vehicles amid continuing nationwide protests calling for the end of police brutality and total police reform.

Protests have permeated the country for well over a month that were sparked after the death of George Floyd, and unarmed black man who died in Minneapolis police custody on May 25.

Ford told the Detroit Free Press that the requests for Ford to stop making police vehicles have been "respectful" and "constructive."

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"We want to hear and listen to all employees, understand their point of view and be transparent about the actions and positions we are taking," Mark Truby, Ford's chief communications officer, told the paper. "It's a healthy dialogue."

Ford is a major player in police vehicle production, supplying nearly two-thirds of all police vehicles in the country.

In a letter to salaried employees on July 1, CEO Jim Hackett said that while Ford supports the Black Lives Matter movement, it also believes in the importance of law enforcement.

"Both Bill Ford and I believe deeply that there is no room for the systemic repression and racism that have been exhibited by law enforcement encounters gone wrong," he wrote. "We’ve said clearly that Black Lives Matter and I am personally driving a review of our Diversity and Inclusion rituals, practices and behaviors. We do believe strongly that more transparency and accountability is required in police operations."

Continuing, he added, "We also believe the first responders that protect us play an extraordinarily important role in the vitality and safety of our society. Our world wouldn’t function without the bravery and dedication of the good police officers who protect and serve. But safety of community must be inclusive of all members and today, it is not."

Hackett asserted that discontinuing the Police Interceptor, the modified Ford Explorer that is the company's most high-profile police vehicle, would "be doing harm to [police officer] safety and making it harder for them to do their job."