HARRISBURG, Pa. (WHTM) — “Despicable” and “disgusting”, that’s what State Troopers are calling a memo from Governor Wolf giving state workers a day off for Juneteenth.
Troopers aren’t upset with the holiday, but a sentence Wolf used in proclaiming it.
The memo from Governor Wolf giving state workers a day off for Juneteenth is 248 words. But State Police are focused on these 12. “Sadly, the continued death of African Americans at the hands of police.” He wrote it to note there’s still work to be done in achieving justice.
“For the governor to use that platform to continue to drive the false narrative that police officers are murdering racists is despicable,” President of the PA State Troopers Association, Dave Kennedy said.
Kennedy says what was especially insulting is that Wolf’s memo came during Police Week when slain officers are remembered.
“Its disgusting and he owes us an apology,” Kennedy said. “A real apology.”
The Governor said his comment wasn’t directed at State Police and he was just stating a fact.
“It’s not a false narrative. Death by policemen in the black community is real,” Reverend Frank Allen, president of the Harrisburg area NAACP said. “It’s as real as you and I standing here. There’s racism there. There’s profiling there. There’s ‘I will get you’ there.”
Allen says that perhaps Wolf should have added a few words like racist cops are the exception, not the rule. He worries that tensions are too high on all sides.
“We have never been this close to throwing hands at each other since the Civil War and yet the basis of this is Crayola. Which is my color and your color,” Allen said.
But for the moment, State Police are just seeing red.
“Its a slap in the face to every police officer that he’s spit in our faces,” Kennedy said.
Troopers are also frustrated that the Governor prioritized smokers and teachers over them when it came to the vaccine.
After the story aired, abc27 received the following statement from the Governor’s office:
“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.“