Jefferson Parish Deputies in Louisiana are refusing to work extra shifts at Bonnabel High School football games after most of the team took the knee during the national anthem at a game last week.
“I was a bit taken aback at first. Keep in mind, I know what is happening nationally with some of the protests that’s happening across the country,” Jefferson Parish Public Schools Superintendent Isaac Joseph said.
“They do have a right, and legally we do not have any right to punish or offer any sanctions against the team or team members,” Joseph said.
A picture posted on Facebook by a team member shows most of the team on one knee last weekend:
The team member wrote, “It [sp] a shame that my teammates really my brother can’t express themselves without being labeled as the bad guy.”
After the display at the football game, some police in Jefferson Parish took offense.
“My understanding is, we’ve had some officers that said they will not work the Bonnabel High football games,” Sheriff Newell Normand said. “I understand why, in light of Colin Kaepernick’s comments, specifically when he says, ‘Cops are getting paid leave for killing people.’ That’s not right, that’s not right by anyone’s standards. The fact of the matter is we risk our lives each and every day for the safety and security of our constituency throughout this country.”
Some of the officers are making their own voice heard and not signing up to work security detail.
“That is a voluntary detail, so I suspect I will have some officers refuse to work the Bonnabel High School games,” Normand said. “The same way that the Bonnabel players have every right to kneel during the national anthem, my officers have every right not to volunteer to work the Bonnabel High School football game.”
Normand says he won’t force the officers to work if they feel it disrespects their job.
“That fuels the disappointment in my officers when they see this happen, and I can fully understand their disappointment and frustration,” Normand said. “When they’re on the clock and they’re working for me, they’ve got to do what they’ve got to do, because that’s what they’re hired to do. That’s not what this is – this is a voluntary detail where they volunteer to work this extra detail separate and apart from what they’re hired to do.”