Mr. John McNesby’s life has been altered a bit since describing a group of mostly black demonstrators as “rabid animals” following a non-violent protest in August outside the home of a Philadelphia police officer who killed an unarmed black man.
For one, Mr. McNesby, the President of the Fraternal Order of Police Lodge #5, is a semi-regular name in local media. But since his off-the-cuff commentary, Mr. McNesby’s profile has grown significantly due to national media interest and widespread condemnation. The stubby, white male union president has achieved national name recognition, but, sadly, it’s for all the wrong reasons.
Those wrong reasons – spearheading a rally which attracted a largely white audience and using in front of them racially insensitive language to characterize African-American protesters – has caused an internal conflict within the FOP.
A reliable source at the union, who spoke freely to Techbook Online under the conditions of anonymity, said Mr. McNesby is somewhat frazzled by the negative attention he’s garnered. He’s also under intense pressure from voices both within and outside the organization to issue an apology, the source said.
“The heat is being turned up,” said the person with intimate knowledge of the conversations being had at, and about, the FOP.
A talk now being had regarding Mr. McNesby is whether black cops – particularly those who have found themselves frustrated with their union lead before: for example, a number of black Philadelphia police officers were dismayed by their union’s decision to endorse Mr. Donald J. Trump during the 2016 presidential election – should withdraw their membership.
Mr. Asa Khalif, one of the eight activists who protested in front of Mr. Ryan Pownall’s residence, said “black police need to make a statement.”
“I’ll respect any black person who takes a stand against anti-blackness,” said Mr. Khalif, who said he doesn’t want an apology from Mr. McNesby. “The prize shouldn’t be an apology, it should be his resignation,” the Black Lives Matter activist, who Mr. McNesby called a “punk,” added.
The two main organizations currently calling for an apology are the Guardian Civic League, which is a chapter of the National Black Police Association, and the Philadelphia chapter of the NAACP.
Mr. Khalif, however, feels that it’s “a little too late” for the apology.
“It won’t be sincere, it’ll be politics.”
Black and brown police officers make up roughly fifty percent of the union’s membership. I’m told that among them, there’s a dialogue unfolding about voting out Mr. McNesby – who was said to have been warned against hosting the ‘Back the Blue’ rally – when election season rolls around.
Mr. McNesby, a white man, in May of this year called individuals he perceived as Black Lives Matter activists “parasites,” another example of him dehumanizing blacks, some have said.
Photo courtesy of the author.