A Pittsburgh Mayor and his Chief of Police are under scrutiny after tweeting a picture that many cops found offensive. Â During a First Night celebration on New Yearâ€™s Eve in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, Police Chief Cameron McLay encountered some activists who were urging society to â€œunlearn racism.â€ He talked to them for a few minutes, and posed for a photo carrying a sign that says, â€œI Resolve To Challenge Racism @ Work. #End White Silenceâ€
Pittsburgh Mayor Bill Peduto saw the picture and loved it. He decided to share it on his Facebook page. Peduto told the Pittsburgh post Gazette,Â â€œI thought there was very little chance for someone to say this was the wrong message to send,â€
Pittsburgh police did NOT agree. Once theÂ photo swept across social media and local police union president Howard McQuillan got word of the statement, he told local news stationÂ KDKA,Â â€œThe chief is calling us racists. He believes the Pittsburgh Police Department is racist. This has angered a lot of officers.â€
In fact, officers were so outraged by the photo they believed it must have been fake.Â McQuillan, president of the local chapter of the Fraternal Order of Police, responded to the sign in an email by accusing Chief McLay of â€œpandering to the community at the expense of the police community.â€
He went on to say, “The recent Twitter photo has restarted the rebuilding of a wall between the Chief’s Office and the rank and file, that we have been working tirelessly to tear down for some time now. We need to repair the department’s morale, then work our way outward to the community,”
“â€¦Our current Chief of Police (is) insinuating that we are now racist, merely by the color of our skin and the nature of our profession. I say enough is enough!” McQuillan wrote.
McQuillan also questioned whether McLay’s appearance holding the sign in the photo on Twitter violated the police bureau’s social media policy.
“I recall you disciplining two of our members for violating the PBP social media policy,” wrote McQullian, saying he felt that the chief’s actions were hypocritical.
“While I certainly respect your personal feelings and most importantly, freedom of speech, your actions raise serious concerns for me as the President of FOP Lodge #1 and our membership,”
McLay began his job as police chief just this past September, and says he was hired to resolve race relations. He may want to reconsider his strategy, what he is doing now is NOT working.