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1 July 2020
A decision by Amazon UK to continue selling merchandise containing a ‘Blue lives murder’ logo and graphics suggesting police brutality has been roundly condemned by the National Chair of the Police Federation.
John Apter described the multinational’s decision as 'a kick in the teeth' for police officers after senior company executives rejected his request to halt sales of the online items.
Mr Apter had written personally to Amazon's UK-based MD Doug Gurr last month and called on the company to stop selling the merchandise. In his letter, the Federation Chair demanded that the Internet giants took steps to remove a range of items being advertised on its site.
Following a meeting this week between John Apter and Amazon UK executives, this plea was rejected and the company maintained the merchandise does not contravene their policies.
Mr Apter said: "Together with police colleagues who have contacted me from across the UK, I consider this merchandise to be highly inflammatory and deeply offensive. I believe most members of the public will agree with me that this calls into account the moral judgement of Amazon.
"I really can’t contain my anger and disgust that Amazon failed to act and refuse to remove the ‘Blue Lives Murder’ merchandise from sale.
"I met with senior Directors from Amazon UK and they did not consider that the sale of these disgraceful items contravenes their policy on offensive and controversial materials.
"I think this is a bad decision and a wrong decision and smacks of poor judgement. I believe that this is a decision police officers and the public will find hard to understand and stomach.
"Given recent attacks on my colleagues, this was an opportunity for Amazon to hear the voices of those officers, their families and others who have objected to the sale of these items and to show support for policing during this difficult and dangerous time.
"With policing under so much pressure and being unfairly vilified by some, this is a kick in the teeth.
"I hope Amazon will urgently reconsider their decision and put right the wrong many of us feel."