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Allowing 'Mothers of the Movement' to speak at DNC enrages some Philly cops

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When grieving parents speak at political conventions about the tragic loss of their children to violence, the moment is meant to unify a nation.

But at the Democratic National Convention in Philadelphia, a planned appearance by Mothers of the Movement Tuesday night is already sparking a backlash from a local Philadelphia police union.

The Mothers are a group of the parents of Trayvon Martin, Michael Brown, Eric Garner, Sandra Bland and other black Americans who met untimely ends under controversial circumstances.

John McNesby of the Fraternal Order of Police Lodge #5 says police officers are "insulted and will not soon forget that the Democratic Party and Hillary Clinton are excluding the widows and other family members of police officers killed in the line of duty.

"Mrs. Clinton, you should be ashamed of yourself -- if that is possible."

Ron Hosko, president of the Law Enforcement Legal Defense Fund, insists Philadelphia law enforcement officers will still protect and serve.

"Frankly I think the police will do their job -- it's a job they are dedicated to and sworn to do," Hosko said.

Allowing 'Mothers of the Movement' to speak at DNC enrages some Philly cops

McNesby issued a statement condemning the DNC for giving Mothers of the Movement a platform.

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Supporters of Sen. Bernie Sanders, I-Vt., march alongside Philadelphia police during a protest in downtown on Sunday, July 24, 2016, in Philadelphia. The Democratic National Convention starts Monday in Philadelphia. (AP Photo/John Minchillo)

Hosko's comments were echoed by Christine O'Brien, the Philadelphia Police Department spokesperson.

"We don't police based on who is speaking or not speaking at an event, nor do we allow politics to dictate our service," she told Circa. 


"Our men and women took an oath to protect and serve and that's exactly what they do each and every day, regardless of circumstances," O'Brien said.

Hillary Clinton's campaign has fiercely defended the convention's choice of speakers. Former Philadelphia Police Chief Charles Ramsey is speaking, along with Joe Sweeney, a retired NYPD detective.

A Clinton spokesperson said, "We need to support heroic police officers who put their lives on the line every day, as well as listen to the voices of mothers who have lost their children."

We don't police based on who is speaking or not speaking at an event.
Christine O'Brien, Philadelphia P.D. spokesperson

But a retired Philadelphia police officer, who would not give his name, told Circa that officers he knows are upset that the Mothers are allowed to speak without giving the widows of fallen officers a chance to speak.

Adding Ramsey to the lineup, he says, does not make up for the fact that none of the family members of law enforcement officers killed in the line of duty will be speaking.


Hosko agreed, telling Circa, "Philly has been home to many police killings, tragedies, one in March. This, to me, is just another anti-cop movement."

When asked about the police union's statement, Philadelphia Police Commissioner Richard Ross sidestepped the controversy.

"They have a right to express their opinions I don't personally wade into political rhetoric. It's just not what I do," Ross said.

Hosko believes that the commissioner backs his police officers, but was right to stay out of the fray. But he does feel that Democrats are politicizing this issue.

"What the DNC is doing is politics. The notion of disproportionate policing is a notion that I think the Democrats want to push because they want the votes.

"They want the black community's votes, they want votes from the Hispanic community -- by telling them they are a victim of bad policing, of bias policing, come vote for me," Hosko told Circa.

Allowing 'Mothers of the Movement' to speak at DNC enrages some Philly cops

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