HARRISBURG, Pa. (WHTM) — David Kennedy, President of the Pennsylvania State Troopers Association, issued a statement Monday saying Governor Wolf insulted his officers in a letter to all state employees regarding Juneteenth.
Wolf’s letter started as an official statement designating Friday, June 18th as a special holiday for state employees. Wolf signed legislation in 2019 making June 19th, known as Juneteenth, an official annual observance in Pennsylvania.
He then went on to state “Juneteenth is a celebration of the progress we have made as a nation towards equality and justice for all. Sadly, the continued death of African Americans at the hands of police and rise in violent attacks against Asian Americans are painful reminders that racism and intolerance are still with us today. This Juneteenth we have an opportunity to unite against injustice and create lasting change that will make Pennsylvania and our nation a better place for everyone.”
Kennedy responded to Wolf Monday, stating that Wolf using a few examples of police brutality to insult all officers during National Police Week, which was recognized from May 8 to May 15.
“Let me be clear: Pennsylvania state troopers support the Juneteenth holiday. But for Gov. Wolf to use his platform to further push a false narrative that police are racist murderers is nothing less than the worst kind of political pandering. It only serves to further divide our nation at the expense of officers who already work incredibly dangerous jobs,” said Kennedy in his response.
“And to do it during National Police Week is nothing less than symbolically spitting in the faces of all police officers and troopers who have given everything. And for their families, this insult rips open a fresh wound.”
Kennedy claims that State Troopers asked Wolf for masks during the COVID-19 pandemic and were told they couldn’t get them, even while the stockpile of PPE grew at the Farm Show Complex.
“Gov. Wolf, you owe all law enforcement officers, troopers and their loved ones an apology. A real apology,” Kennedy said.
Governor Wolf’s office responded to the claims Monday, saying “With the message, the commonwealth sought to invite participation in Juneteenth Day, a holiday that marks the emancipation from slavery for African-Americans. The intent of the email was to acknowledge that there is still work to be done across the nation towards equality and justice for all. We are sorry that this message was obscured, and we hope all Pennsylvanians can observe Juneteenth and recognize its importance. Law Enforcement officers play a vital role in protecting Pennsylvania citizens and supporting our communities, and we are sorry if anyone took offense to the message.”
FULL STATEMENT FROM DAVID KENNEDY, PRESIDENT OF THE PENNSYLVANIA STATE TROOPERS ASSOCIATION: