After a letter sent out by the president of the national Fraternal Order of Police, the largest police organization in the nation, Wal-Mart decided to stop selling on its website T-shirts and sweatshirts displaying the word "Bulletproof" with the words "Black Lives Matter" written under it, the Washington Post reports.
On Tuesday, Chuck Canterbury, the president of the FOP, wrote in his letter to "advise" the retail giant "to prohibit the use of the Wal-Mart name and website for the retail sale" of "offensive shirts and sweatshirts" featuring "Bulletproof" and "Black Lives Matter."
The merchandise in question was not being sold by Wal-Mart but instead was being sold via Wal-Mart's website by Old Glory Merchandise, a music-and-entertainment-apparel dealer. Old Glory also has a Blue Lives Matter sweatshirt for sale on Wal-Mart's site.
"Commercializing our differences will not help our local police and communities to build greater trust and respect for one another. Turning a buck on strained relationships will not contribute to the healing process," FOP President Canterbury wrote in his letter. "This should be a time for joy, and no family who has lost a son or daughter, whether in the line of duty or in a tragic event, should have their pain turned into someone else's profit."
Jim Pasco, the executive director of the FOP, told the Post that the issue was raised by union members who thought the retail giant was selling anti-police merchandise.
“There are a lot of people who feel too many guns are sold,” Pasco said. “Why not speak out against things that might be seen as fomenting violence, rather than things that commit violence?”
On Tuesday night, Wal-Mart announced that it would pull the shirts that read "Bulletproof," but declined to remove other "Black Lives Matter" shirts.
“Like other online retailers, we have a marketplace with millions of items offered by third parties that includes Blue Lives Matter, Black Lives Matter and All Lives Matter merchandise," Wal-Mart said in a statement, according to the Post. "After hearing concerns from customers, we are removing the specific item with the ‘bulletproof’ reference.”
Read more at the Washington Post.