According to a report by Jalopnik, Ford CEO Jim Hackett and Chairman Bill Ford received a letter by Ford employees requesting that the company reconsider their position on supplying vehicles to police forces. And instead, they should focus those resources on other forms of public safety.
"Throughout history, the vehicles that Ford employees design and build have been used as accessories to police brutality and oppression. 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."
This comes after a rise in the Black Lives Matter movement, which developed into nationwide protests after a man named George Floyd died from excessive force use by a police officer in a non-aggressive interaction with the police. The protests, which focused on deep-set corruption in the police force and the high degree of police brutality cases, grew more severe after many local law enforcement teams responded to these protests with tear gas, rubber bullets, and other forms of violence.
Hackett has responded to this letter internally. Jalopnik acquired a copy, however, claiming it states the following.
"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."
While there is truth to what Hackett is saying. It’s also worth noting that Ford is the largest provider of police vehicles in the United States. Severing that tie would mean a noticeable cut in their potential profits. The question is whether the bad publicity of siding with the police (and the corruption therein) is worth the money they’d continue to make. Based on his response, the answer is probably “yes.”