Ford employees want company to stop making police vehicles, CEO refuses

midian182

Posts: 5,866   +48
Staff member
A hot potato: A group of Ford employees is asking the firm to stop making police vehicles as the Black Lives Matter protests continue around the world following the killing of George Floyd. A letter composed by both black and white workers was sent to company boss Jim Hackett asking the automotive giant to reconsider its role in building and selling cars, SUVs, and trucks to law enforcement agencies, but the CEO says Ford will continue its commitment to police forces all over the world.

Ford provides around two-thirds of the vehicles used by US police, and multiple videos have shown some officers driving them aggressively toward, and in some cases colliding with, protestors. The clip below shows an example of this behavior, which occurred in Ford’s HQ city of Detroit after the letter was sent.

"Throughout history, the vehicles that Ford employees design and build have been used as accessories to police brutality and oppression," reads the letter, according to Jalopnik. "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."

More Ford employees have since signed the letter, which calls for the company to "cease development, production, and sale of all custom police vehicles and products." It asks for some form of action to be taken by July 15.

Responding to the request, Hackett sent out an office memo defending the company’s position. "It's not controversial that the Ford Police Interceptor helps officers do their job. The issues plaguing police credibility have nothing to do with the vehicles they're driving."

"By taking away our Police Interceptors, we would be doing harm to their safety and making it harder for them to do their job. Again, this is why, given our insights, new capabilities and leadership, I believe these unfortunate circumstances present Ford with an even greater opportunity to not only innovate new solutions but also leverage our unique position to support the dialogue and reform needed to create safer communities for all."

Hackett suggested future Ford police vehicles will be able to protect both officers and civilians. "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," the CEO added.

Several tech giants have responded to the BLM protests. Amazon is stopping police from using its facial recognition tools, and Microsoft said it wouldn’t sell its version of the tech to law enforcement agencies. We’ve also seen companies promise to remove the terms blacklist, whitelist, and master/slave because of their racial connotations, while more firms are suspending their Facebook ads over the platform's lack of action against hate-speech, leaving Mark Zuckerberg $7 billion poorer.

Image credit: Damian Pankowiec

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Rayneofpayne

Posts: 165   +182
Only to racists.
Objectively it is racist and Marxist. You have equality, stop trying to act like it's still the 70s. Statistics do not support these people. **** happens it's tragic, but I am not losing sleep over a drunk man on drugs committing a crime and then resisting arrest and getting a beat down.
ACCOUNTABILITY it's important.
It's just like saying and quoting about white privilege, it doesn't exist, it's a term thrown around by people without accounting for reality.
 

wiyosaya

Posts: 5,321   +3,424
BLM is racism
Objectively it is racist and Marxist. You have equality, stop trying to act like it's still the 70s. Statistics do not support these people. **** happens it's tragic, but I am not losing sleep over a drunk man on drugs committing a crime and then resisting arrest and getting a beat down.
ACCOUNTABILITY it's important.
It's just like saying and quoting about white privilege, it doesn't exist, it's a term thrown around by people without accounting for reality.
 

Plutoisaplanet

Posts: 246   +279
BLM is racism
I would say BLM is discriminatory. The people in this article are discriminating against police officers saying none deserve interceptors to do their job. I’ve also heard people say that anyone who doesn’t agree with the BLM movement is racist (which is different from agreeing that black lives matter mind you) and so many other plainly wrong things.
 

Hexic

Posts: 725   +701
TechSpot Elite
Barely anyone critically thinks anymore. If the root issue was policing than this issue would have been resolved decades ago.

But instead of fixing a infrastructure problem that has been letting first responders out to dry for decades, we're back to playing the race game with badges.

If one can't critically think and identify the root cause, then everything is just a waste of time. But keep attacking those who've sworn to protect. Because that's worked so well in the past.
 
What's next, a small group of people employees asking 511 to stop making shoes and boots because cops wear them? Or a small group of employees asking cellphone manufacturer companies to stop making phones because cops use them? If those employees don't like it they can always not work for those companies. Also, don't any law enforcement agency should there be an emergency that occurs when you need immediate assistance.
Utter stupidity continuing in the US.
 

Lew Zealand

Posts: 1,468   +1,438
TechSpot Elite
Objectively it is racist and Marxist. You have equality, stop trying to act like it's still the 70s. Statistics do not support these people. **** happens it's tragic, but I am not losing sleep over a drunk man on drugs committing a crime and then resisting arrest and getting a beat down.
ACCOUNTABILITY it's important.
It's just like saying and quoting about white privilege, it doesn't exist, it's a term thrown around by people without accounting for reality.
Ah, so you grew up as a black child and experienced the world from that perspective and you're declaring that you were given the same opportunities in society as everyone else? You know you weren't excluded from some schools or jobs of your choice by people who didn't want to associate with you thanks to your skin color? You weren't followed around by cops, shaken down, and sure, eventually allowed to go on your way when driving in a posh neighborhood?

Those types of things bother people when they continuously happen throughout their lives. That kind of wears on you and convinces you that maybe it's just not worth it to try to break through the systemic attitudes. No, they're not everywhere but those types of problems are endemic and serve to restrict the opportunities of minority people throughout their lives. Just because there are paper laws to protect people doesn't mean that there's anywhere near 100% enforcement of them.
 
Only to racists.
Nah, they're pretty much racists when they openly blame white people overall for their problems. That group's failure to think critically and actually look at individual problems without screaming like banshee's to get their point across, shows they don't want truth or justice. And the worst offenders in that group are the white people who try to so hard to be seen as agents of change and sympathetic to the cause.
 

axiomatic13

Posts: 265   +204
Objectively it is racist and Marxist. You have equality, stop trying to act like it's still the 70s. Statistics do not support these people. **** happens it's tragic, but I am not losing sleep over a drunk man on drugs committing a crime and then resisting arrest and getting a beat down.
ACCOUNTABILITY it's important.
It's just like saying and quoting about white privilege, it doesn't exist, it's a term thrown around by people without accounting for reality.

You wouldn't know Marxism if Karl himself walked up to you and explained it. You sound silly.
 

Rayneofpayne

Posts: 165   +182
You wouldn't know Marxism if Karl himself walked up to you and explained it. You sound silly.
Lol ok considering I read the manifesto of both Communism and Capitalism, there is a distinct difference 1 didn't put a few hundred thousand in graves. It's not plausible and anyone believing it can be achieved is ignorant to history.
 
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Rayneofpayne

Posts: 165   +182
Communism hasn't killed nearly as many people as US Sanctions.
Statistics? Sanctions is imposed for a reason and it ultimately leads to death for the reason of a nation doing very bad behavior and a leader being ignorant to his own people, it's the alternative rather than sending in a sniper with a bullet. Personally I prefer the sniper option but people get finicky about assassinating world leaders.
 

Rayneofpayne

Posts: 165   +182
What's next, a small group of people employees asking 511 to stop making shoes and boots because cops wear them? Or a small group of employees asking cellphone manufacturer companies to stop making phones because cops use them? If those employees don't like it they can always not work for those companies. Also, don't any law enforcement agency should there be an emergency that occurs when you need immediate assistance.
Utter stupidity continuing in the US.
Personally I am waiting for the day they ask the government to repaint the Whitehouse because color = racism. The national IQ is so astoundingly terrible.
 

LNCPapa

Posts: 4,310   +567
TS Special Forces
While I may not agree that Ford should stop making vehicles for the police I much more strongly disagree with many of the things being said in this thread... the main ones being:
BLM is racism
and:
Objectively it is racist and Marxist. You have equality, stop trying to act like it's still the 70s. Statistics do not support these people. **** happens it's tragic, but I am not losing sleep over a drunk man on drugs committing a crime and then resisting arrest and getting a beat down.
ACCOUNTABILITY it's important.
It's just like saying and quoting about white privilege, it doesn't exist, it's a term thrown around by people without accounting for reality.
I tend to stay away from posting my opinions on these types of topics while on my favorite tech forum but there is a lot of ignorance and a huge lack of empathy and self reflection happening on this one in particular. BLM is about the differences in how blacks are looked at, regarded, and treated by the police. It is not equal and NEVER has been. Black folks in the US have been fighting for equality since before I was born. These arguments are the same now as they were back then. You can't live in your bubble of privilege where everything is great and smells rosy and then say "You can smell the same things too if you try hard enough". The reasons you see things the way you do is because of the imbalances that have existed for many, many years. If you could just take a few minutes and watch/listen to the following videos I hope it might help you understand some of these issues.




And if you're willing to read just one article

https://www.history.com/news/red-summer-1919-riots-chicago-dc-great-migration - keep in mind that this is 100 years ago during the Spanish Flu epidemic

There is a lot more you should take the time to review before deciding you know how it is for everyone. There is only so much you tell yourself to make yourself feel better about your current mindset or what you've been taught.
"If your top priority is understanding racism better, or addressing an incident involving race, or righting a wrong caused by racism, don’t let the top priority suddenly become avenging your wounded pride if the conversation has you feeling defensive. When you start to feel defensive, stop and ask yourself why." - Ijeoma Oluo