Fraternal Order of Police National President Chuck Canterbury wrote a letter to United States President Donald Trump calling on him and Secretary Zinke of the Department of the Interior to stop the National Park Service from awarding money to U.C. Berkeley to honor the Black Panther Party, which murdered 16 officers, including an NPS Park Ranger.
Text of Letter
I am writing on behalf of the members of the Fraternal Order of Police to express our outrage and shock at learning the National Park Service (NPS) has awarded a $98,000 grant to the University of California at Berkley (UCB) in order to commemorate the Black Panther Party (BPP) and “memorialize a history that brought meaning to lives.”
Mr. President, as far as we are concerned the only meaning they brought to any lives was grief to the families of their victims. According to our research, members of this militant anti-American group murdered 16 law enforcement officers over the course of their history. Among their victims was U.S. Park Ranger Kenneth C. Patrick. He was murdered in cold blood by three members of the Black Panther Party on 5 August 1973. His killer, who remains behind bars, still considers himself a Black Panther and a “political prisoner.” It is appalling that the National Park Service, Ranger Patrick’s own agency, now proposes to partner with UCB and two active members of this violent and repugnant organization.
The Black Panther Party was described by the Federal Bureau of Investigation as a ” black extremist organization” which “advocated the use of violence and guerilla tactics to overthrow the U.S. government.” At a time when many in our nation feel strongly that memorials to aspects of the darker times in our history be removed from public lands, why would the NPS seek to commemorate the activities of an extremist separatist group that advocated the use of violence against our country-a country they perceived as their enemy? This is a despicable irony and we hope you can bring it to an end by halting the Notice to Award funding P 17 AS00807 immediately.
Mr. President, we are grateful as always for your leadership and support for the men and women who serve our communities as law enforcement. The more than 330,000 members of the Fraternal Order of Police know that you have our back and we deeply appreciate it. I hope that we can resolve this issue quickly. If I can provide any additional information about this matter, please do not hesitate to contact me or my Senior Advisor, Jim Pasco, in my Washington office.