Tuesday evening, the Texas Municipal Police Association (TMPA) joined those across West Texas speaking out against an editorial cartoon published in the June 25, 2018 editions of the Lubbock Avalanche-Journal and Amarillo Globe News.

In a statement on Facebook, the organization said: "TMPA is appalled at the irresponsible editorial cartoon that the Amarillo Globe-News and Lubbock Avalanche-Journal both chose to publish yesterday.

"As the Voice of Texas Law Enforcement, and on behalf of the more than 27,000 officers we represent, we felt compelled to offer the following statement to these outlets, as well as request an apology for the first responders who are tasked with establishing peace and maintaining the safety of ALL of our communities."

A complete Letter to the Editor, from the TMPA, is shown below in the attached Facebook post, and copied in-full, below:

TMPA Letter to the Editor of the Lubbock A-J & Amarillo Globe News; June 26, 2018

Dear Editor,

Law enforcement officers have grown accustomed to the false narratives about police shootings from national media outlets like MSNBC, NPR and the New York Times. Even though it was an editorial cartoon, we never thought we would see this kind of dishonest, irresponsible and inflammatory nonsense from the Amarillo Globe-News.

I understand you followed up the publishing of the cartoon with an article explaining the reasons you chose to publish it. Forgive me for being blunt but you spent over 600 words trying to defend the indefensible.

This kind of despicable narrative portrayed in the cartoon (a police officer shooting an African-American man in the back) has made the job of law enforcement officers more difficult, as they inflame tensions without regard to facts.

The myth of “hands up, don’t shoot,” which was a fundamental mischaracterization of a justified police shooting in Ferguson, Missouri, created racial tension and hampered police interaction with minority communities.

We saw tragedy in Dallas when a sniper specifically targeted and murdered police officers. Certainly media hysteria and misinformation contributed to the sick thoughts of this deranged killer. Yet, while our country has rallied behind the men and women in blue following this tragedy, the Amarillo Globe-News seems determined to instead promote hatred of the very people who protect your families.

The Texas Municipal Police Association is the largest police association in Texas representing more than 27,000 law enforcement officers. Your editorial cartoon puts the lives of these officers at risk by adding fuel to the fire of a false narrative about the use of force against African Americans.

The first amendment gives you the right to publish the unconscionable cartoon. But because you have the right to do it doesn't mean it's the right thing to do. You owe an apology to the men and women who risk their lives every day to keep you safe.

Kevin Lawrence
Executive Director
Texas Municipal Police Association