Los Angeles faith leaders unite for Karen Bass, demand apology from Police Protective League for defamatory ad – Los Angeles Sentinel | Los Angeles Sentinel
Los Angeles faith leaders unite for Karen Bass, demand apology from Police Protective League for defamatory ad
Top stalwarts of the faith community gathered at the Los Angeles Sentinel to speak out against alleged allegations against Congresswoman Karen Bass on Wednesday, May 11.
Presidents of the Los Angeles Baptist Ministers’ Conference, Western Baptist State Convention, AME Ministerial Alliance, California Missionary Baptist State Convention and other Los Angeles faith leaders call for withdrawal from unionized group, Los Angeles Police Protective League, as well as with an apology, to improve “community-police relations”.
The union’s announcement painted a picture that linked Bass to USC’s allegations against former board member Mark Ridley-Thomas. The ad illustrated their claim by alleging that she accepted $95,000 in free tuition for an online master’s degree program at the USC School of Social Work while serving in Congress nearly 10 years ago. . However, Bass’ application to receive the tuition scholarship was approved by the House Ethics Committee, according to the Los Angeles Times.
The syndicated commercial is 30 seconds long and is valued at around $2 million to air on five major television networks. The Los Angeles Times said Bass moved forward by sending cease and desist letters to those outlets on Tuesday, May 10.
Church leaders in attendance included the Reverend Dr. Benjamin J. Hardwick, pastor of Praises of Zion Baptist Church and president of the Western Baptist State Convention; Reverend KW Tulloss, pastor of Weller Street Missionary Baptist Church and president of the Los Angeles and Southern California Baptist Ministers’ Conference; Rev. John E. Cager III, pastor of Ward AME Church and president of the AME Ministerial Alliance; Rev. E. Wayne Gaddis, president of the California Missionary Baptist State Convention; and other ministers from all over Los Angeles.
Watching the actions taken by the LA Police Union, faith leaders shared the extent of the damage this incident has done to relations between police and people of color within the collective community.
The executives highlighted the following points about the announcement:
- “Bad for the city – As crime increases in our city and across the country, the LAPD union should focus on fighting crime, not fighting Karen Bass.
- “Bad for community relations – Spending $2 million to attack a community leader like Karen Bass – someone who has spent her whole life fighting for us – will only hurt community-police relations.
- “Bad timing – We’re at a sensitive time for our city. How are police chiefs reacting? Attacking a public official with deep community ties she served for decades on the heels of a national race toll and the 30th Anniversary of Civil Unrest LAPPL should help us move forward, not back.
Church leaders have also questioned the benefits the union can derive from bashing Bass, seeing how a key part of his campaign is devoted to the rise and evolution of the Los Angeles Police Department. Beyond running for mayor, Bass has advocated for better relationships between law enforcement and citizens across the country.
According to Spectrum News 1, she called for more LAPD patrols in light of speculation that Angelenos feel unsafe. Additionally, Bass’ public safety strategy calls for the hiring of citizens to replace officers assigned to office duties, allowing more police officers to patrol the streets.
According to a recent report by LAPD Chief Michel Moore, the agency now has 9,521 sworn members, down 185 from the 9,706 sworn members allotted for the fiscal year.
Tulloss opened the press conference by saying, “We are here gathered with leaders from our city’s faith communities, denominational leaders in response to the Los Angeles Police Union’s $2 million announcement and their attack on MP Karen Bass.”
He continued: ‘We are here to express our concern and our displeasure with the police union, what they did in this advertisement was very bad for the city. With crime at an all-time high, this is an opportunity for the police to focus on the crime problem in our city and not attack one of our local black elected officials, Karen Bass.
Cager shared similar concerns saying: ‘It’s an old playbook. Karen Bass is the author of the George Floyd Justice and Policing Act – the police union is committing millions to get rid of her.
Ward AME church pastor noted, “We saw it before in Los Angeles when the police union sided with Sam Yorty against Tom Bradley over 50 years ago.
“Los Angeles went from the politics of racial baiting to the days when victory was determined by dividing the white Westside [residents] and the white valley [residents] of people of color,” he said.
“This is a time for Los Angeles to come together, and we call on all candidates in this race and every race to rebuke and resist the cheap politics of race-baiting and bring Los Angeles together,” a concluded Cager.
“We further condemn the police union for continuing to fan the flames of racial politics.”