Ford employees have petitioned the company's CEO to stop manufacturing and selling police vehicles, according to Jalopnik.
The protests and riots that have swept across the nation sparked by the death of George Floyd have inspired some Ford employees to write a letter asking the company to reconsider its relationship with police and to "cease development, production, and sale of all custom police vehicles and products."
"Our resources can and should be diverted to other forms of first response and public safety," the letter reads. "We cannot claim to support the fight against systemic racism while supplying and supporting the very systems that perpetrate violence against black Americans."
Ford CEO Jim Hackett replied with a letter of his own addressed to his employees, defending the car manufacturer's business of making police vehicles, saying he does not think it's "controversial that the Ford Police Interceptor helps officers do their job" and that the company would continue with its production.
"The issues plaguing police credibility have nothing to do with the vehicles they're driving. In fact, as we imagine the future power of our connected vehicles, smarter Ford vehicles can be used to not only improve officers' ability to protect and serve but also provide data that can make police safer and more accountable," Hackett wrote.
"Just think, dating back to the Model T, Ford has more than 100 years in serving first responders and that leadership over the decades has been earned by co-developing our purpose-built vehicles and technologies with police and emergency agencies to make our vehicles the number one choice."
🔦 Although manufacturing police vehicles is not a major part of Ford's annual revenue, the company says its overall lineup of vehicles benefits from new technologies and innovations that get tested in patrol cars.