News & Politics

Adult in the Room: Ford CEO Responds to Employees' Demands to Stop Making Police Vehicles

Jalopnik reports that a group of Ford Motor Company employees want the auto giant to stop making vehicles for police.

Ford employees have asked the automaker to stop building police cars, according to a Jalopnik report published Wednesday. The request comes as countless Black Lives Matter protests continue throughout America and around the globe, sparked by the killing of George Floyd.

Jalopnik fails to report that since the protests devolved into riots and “defund the police” swept across the nation, violent crime and murder have surged in several major cities, including New York, Chicago, Baltimore, and Seattle.

The employee letter is typical of the anti-police hysteria of our moment:

“Throughout history, the vehicles that Ford employees design and build have been used as accessories to police brutality and oppression,” workers wrote in a letter to Ford CEO Jim Hackett and Chairman Bill Ford, according to Jalopnik. “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.”

All these demand notes sound the same. They have a similar ominous and accusatory voice and style. Serious question: Who is writing them? The mainstream media never turns over that particular rock.

Ford CEO Jim Hackett has a strong response:

“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.”

Shorter version: No. We’re not going to stop making police cars. Now get back to work.

Fox Business has more of Hackett’s response:

“I do appreciate people speaking their mind to me on this issue – it helped me generate this note to explain why we are continuing our commitment to police forces all over the world in our trusted products,” Hackett said. “Thank you for caring so deeply about the Company and our people, and for all you do for Ford.”

“Defund the police” is making the nation’s cities far less safe than they were just a few weeks ago. Criminals know the police are demoralized, with many walking off the job, and that local prosecutors, mayors, and city councils do not stand with the blue. Just ask any police officer in any major city now if the city’s elected leadership has their backs. We don’t even have to ask in New York, where the city’s top cop has made the situation pretty clear.

Three decades of hard-won victories over violent crime have been undone. Ending the manufacture of police cars would further harm law enforcement — leading to senseless murders of children, as happened in several cities during the July 4th weekend — and would probably force Ford to lay some of its own employees off in this dicey economy.

And let’s be clear about another part of this. Police cars have nothing at all to do with the militarization of police equipment, which happened mostly during the Obama years as a side effect of the wars overseas. Police cars also have nothing to do with dealing with bad police officers or reforming certain practices. Police cars are basic tools of the job of keeping our streets as safe as possible.

The activists behind “defund the police” evidently don’t care about any of that.

None of which is to say that Ford, the name, bears no responsibility in any of this.

While Ford, the auto manufacturer, will continue to build and sell police cars, the Ford Foundation is funding the “defund the police” movement according to National Pulse:

To understand how the Foundation harnesses its grantees to create a juggernaut like the Defund the Police movement, it is helpful to view them as a broker. The Foundation acts as an intermediary between their paid grantees – all of kindred spirits – who work on behalf of the Foundation to change, and then to set, American domestic policy.

Since 2016, Ford Foundation has given roughly $7.8 million to Black Lives Matters and other similar groups through a partnership with Borealis Philanthropy. These groups are now the public face of the Defund the Police movement.

But the movement was born from a group seeded by the Foundation back in 2015 called Black Youth Project 100 (BYP100) at the University of Chicago. Their mission was to “Disband, Disarm, Disempower” the police.

Read the whole thing. Ford the automaker and the Ford Foundation are separate entities and have been for years. The former will continue making cars for police departments around the country. The latter is making it far more difficult for police to do their already difficult jobs, and it has innocent blood on its hands.

‘Defunding’ Police Will Lead to More Violent Crime, But Don’t Ask the Mainstream Media

New York’s Murder Rate Is Up. Way Up.