Cambridgeshire Police Federation chair Liz Groom has urged Amazon to re-consider its decision to continue selling t-shirts bearing the slogan ‘Blue Lives Murder’.
Liz says the merchandise is offensive not just to police officers but also the wider public and says Amazon’s stance is a kick in the teeth for police officers particularly at a time when they are in the front-line during the coronavirus pandemic.
“We work tirelessly every day to build relationships and trust in the communities we serve and protect, and this merchandise seeks to undermine all of that,” says Liz.
“By not taking them off their site, Amazon could be accused of fuelling division and endorsing the kinds of attacks on officers that we have seen in recent weeks.”
Last week national Federation chair John Apter wrote to Amazon’s UK-based managing director Doug Gurr and called on the company to stop selling the merchandise.
He then met with Amazon UK executives this week but his plea was rejected. The company said the merchandise does not contravene its policies.
John said afterwards: “I believe most members of the public will agree with me that this calls into account the moral judgement of Amazon. I really can’t contain my anger and disgust that Amazon failed to act and refuse to remove the ‘Blue Lives Murder’ merchandise from sale.
“I met with senior directors from Amazon UK and they did not consider that the sale of these disgraceful items contravenes their policy on offensive and controversial materials.
“I think this is a bad decision and a wrong decision and smacks of poor judgement. I believe that this is a decision police officers and the public will find hard to understand and stomach.
“Given recent attacks on my colleagues, this was an opportunity for Amazon to hear the voices of those officers, their families and others who have objected to the sale of these items and to show support for policing during this difficult and dangerous time. With policing under so much pressure and being unfairly vilified by some, this is a kick in the teeth.
“I hope Amazon will urgently reconsider its decision and put right the wrong many of us feel.”