The demand to defund a research project on the Black Panther Party succeeded with the National Fraternal Order of Police’s influence on President Donald Trump.
The San Francisco Chronicle confirmed that the National Park Service cancelled a $98,000 research grant to the University of California Berkeley for the “Black Panther Party Research, Interpretation & Memory Project.”
Park Service spokesman Craig Dalby told the Chronicle that despite the announcement in September, the agreement was not finalized. “After an additional review of the project, the NPS decided not to move forward with funding the project,” Dalby added.
That decision was surely influenced by the outrage among conservatives over the project that was “committed to truthfully honoring the legacy of BPP activists and the San Francisco Bay Area communities they served.”
Perhaps the biggest influence on the decision came when the national police union threw its weight behind the mission to block the grant.
Chuck Canterbury, the union’s national president, penned a letter to Trump on Oct. 19 stating the group’s objections to the funding.
In the letter, Canterbury stated that the “militant anti-American group” is responsible for the murder of 16 law enforcement officers and “brought grief to the families of their victims.” He told the president that it’s a “despicable irony” that the federal government is funding a project to memorialize the Panthers when monuments honoring the Confederacy are being removed from public lands.
There’s a close bond between the 330,000-member police union and Trump. He received the group’s endorsement for his presidency. Canterbury also came to Trump’s defense — as several law enforcement agencies distanced themselves — after the president made a controversial statement authorizing cops not to be “too nice” to criminal suspects.
SOURCE: San Francisco Chronicle