— WHAT'S UP?! (@endwhitesilence) January 1, 2015
Pittsburgh Police Chief Cameron McLay has shut down his Twitter account following criticism for being photographed holding a protest sign that called his officers white racists.
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In response to a complaint by the police union McLay referred himself for an internal investigation to see if he violated the department’s rules governing social media when he posted the photo to Twitter.
Also on Wednesday news broke that McLay is forcing officers to sign a pledge barring them from speaking to the press.
From the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review:
“Pittsburgh police Chief Cameron McLay is barring officers from speaking to members of the media under penalty of termination.
“In a statement Wednesday, McLay said all police employees must sign a “memorandum of individual responsibility” in the presence of a supervisor promising not to share confidential information.”
The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette reported on McLay shutting down his Twitter account:
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““Pittsburgh police Chief Cameron McLay has shut down his Twitter account following a controversy that drew national attention over a New Year’s Eve post on Facebook showing him holding an anti-racism sign.
“The chief has also asked the Office of Municipal Investigations to look into whether his use of social media violated any Pittsburgh police bureau regulations.
“Chief McLay made the decision today after meeting with Officer Howard McQuillan, president of the police union, said Sonya Toler, the city’s public safety spokeswoman.
“”The chief made that decision, because he was using his personal Twitter account, to hand it over for an investigation to determine if he was in violation of any of our policies,” Ms. Toler said.”
The South Pittsburgh Reporter reported on McLay speaking about the protest sign photo earlier this week:
“While Mr. McLay stopped short of apologizing, he says he made a “huge, huge, huge mistake.”
““I didn’t connect the dots,” he says. “I didn’t realize that some of my officers with whom I didn’t have a relationship yet could see something like that and think that these (women who had drawn the #EndWhiteSilence sign) were anti-police protestors. That’s my mistake.
““If I had it do over again, I would have gone to the e-mail right away and said, ‘Just FYI, if you see this, this is what it means….’ Do I blame anyone for looking that and thinking, ‘Oh my God.’ No. Because police, in our society now, are under attack. We’re being made the bad guys. Sometimes every now and then we’ve got things we need to be held accountable for. Absolutely police accountability is important. An awful lot though is completely and very, very, very unfair.””
The Gateway Pundit reported on the group whose sign McLay held at a First Night celebration:
““The group behind the campaign calls itself “Working and Healing to Abolish Total Supremacy, Undermining Privilege)” or WHAT’S UP?!.
“WHAT’S UP?! lists their goals on their website.
““To educate ourselves and strengthen our abilities to work for racial justice
““To support and encourage white people in challenging white supremacy, personally and structurally.
““To work in collaboration with organizations led by people of color and other allied individuals or organizations in the struggle for racial justice and collective liberation”
“The group is focused solely on white racism and does not acknowledge racism by any other racial groups or ethnicities.
“WHAT’S UP?!’s definition of racism:
““Racism: The normalization and legitimization of an array of dynamics – historical, cultural, educational, institutional and interpersonal – that routinely advantage whites while producing cumulative and chronic adverse outcomes for people of color. It is a system of hierarchy and inequity, characterized by white supremacy…”
“The anti-white racism group was founded exclusively by whites in 2011. In 2014 they let non-white people in to the leadership of the group and changed their name from the original “Whites Working and Hoping to Abolish Total Supremacy, Undermining Privilege.”( Proving once again the accuracy of Monty Python’s send-up of the hypocritical left in “Life of Brian.”)”