PHILADELPHIA (AP) — Philadelphia's police union is condemning Hillary Clinton for allowing relatives of people killed by police to speak at the Democratic National Convention without giving equal time to families of fallen officers.
John McNesby, president of the Fraternal Order of Police Lodge No. 5, said the union is insulted by the decision to exclude families of officers killed in the line of duty.
"It is sad that to win an election Mrs. Clinton must pander to the interests of people who do not know all the facts, while the men and women they seek to destroy are outside protecting the political institutions of this country," he wrote in Wednesday's statement.
Nesby ends by saying: "Mrs. Clinton, you should be ashamed of yourself if that is possible."
Clinton's campaign responded that two members of law enforcement are scheduled to speak at the July 25-28 convention, including former Philadelphia Police Commissioner Charles Ramsey. Joe Sweeney, a former New York Police Department detective who rushed to the World Trade Center on 9/11, is also slated to speak.
"As Hillary Clinton has 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," said campaign spokeswoman Stephanie Formas in a statement. "We look forward to highlighting the courageous efforts of law enforcement with speakers at our convention, including from Pennsylvania, and praising their work to keep our communities safe."
"The Mothers of the Movement" group that is scheduled to participate in the convention July 26 includes the mothers of Eric Garner and Michael Brown.
Clinton has made curbing gun violence a focus of her White House bid, campaigning alongside several women who have lost their children to gun violence or after contact with police, including the mothers of Garner and Trayvon Martin.
The National Fraternal Order of Police echoed Philadelphia's union on Thursday, saying it was shocked by the decision, especially as law enforcement officers gear up to protect the residents of Philadelphia and visitors during the event.
"It's time for politicians so cynical as to pick sides against the rule of law and due process to make the right choice and stand with the men and women of law enforcement and to stop shameful rhetoric," the statement said.