You’d think the death threats would have stopped when he retired from the NYPD.
They didn’t. They got worse.
That’s because Michael Burke decided to launch an apparel line to combat the false narrative that’s out there about policing. And he’s using proceeds to help support the families of fallen officers.
It’s called “Proud Pig”, and it’s a brand that’s absolutely exploded among law enforcement and supporters.
The latest threat came in this weekend, after Proud Pig announced it was going to be sending a care package to the officer from Oklahoma who received Starbucks cups labeled “pig” on Thanksgiving.
“We know where you live. This is your only warning you better lay low cause we got shooters on your house and fam dog. you won’t even know when we pull up and you won’t even kneo (sic) what hit you on god you got what’s coming son.”
More on that below.
Burke, a retired member of the NYPD, started “Proud Pig” a few years back.
“I started Proud Pig in late 2016 because I was tired of the false narratives being pushed by the mainstream media and wanna be ‘activists’ like Colin Kaepernick,” said Burke.
He started it because SOMEONE had to.
“He wore Pig socks to practice and began to further attack the American Police Officer,” Burke said. “The facts are that WE are the most restrained Law Enforcement currently than ever before in our history.”
“These attacks on our law enforcement officers are happening all across the country,” said Burke. “The media is doing everything in their power to divide us. We wanted to show that the brotherhood is still alive and well. We’re excited to send out some gifts to this officer.”
Proud Pig has exploded over the past couple of years, quickly becoming one of the favored clothing apparel lines for those who support officers… and those who hold the Thin Blue Line.
Unapologetic and “New York” in attitude, the company turns the “pig” insult upside down.
“As a lifestyle brand, Proud Pig Apparel aims to re-energize the sense of Brotherhood and pride in the Blue Line that is disappearing daily from our profession. We will not allow false narratives to divide us.
We hope to inspire all with our ‘in your face’, non-apologetic Swine Swag. Original designs and superior customer experience, from a Law-Enforcement-owned and operated business. A portion of all profits are donated to Law Enforcement charities.
Pride, Integrity & Guts. P.I.G.”
Proceeds help benefit Brothers Before Others, among other non-profits. The organization makes sure that flowers are sent to the funerals of every single police officer. It’s a group that spans across the entire country… and makes sure to have the backs of their fellow officers when they find themselves in a jam – or facing a threat.
“As far as the threats go, while I will not respond in kind, I will say this,” said Burke. “I live in the mountains of Pennsylvania. My entire family is extremely proficient in the use of firearms. While we don’t look for trouble, we sure will extinguish it quickly and accurately, without hesitation.”
Burke and his team are use to the threats. They’ve gotten countless “promises” over the years from people vowing to kill them and their families for taking the “pro-cop” stance.
“I am A Proud Pig – Dirty by Design,” said Burke.
Last year, we hosted Burke and some of the other members of Brothers Before Others at the Whiskey Wall at our studios in Connecticut. In case you missed it, here’s his interview.
Now let’s talk about police use of force, to further make Burke’s point.
It’s time to systematically destroy the argument that cops are racist killers. And I’ll break this down pretty simply so everyone can understand.
- The U.S. population is about 314,000,000 people.
- There are approximately 670,439 police officers.
- That means there are less than 2.2 police officers per 1,000, or 2,133 officers per million.
- Police officers are less than .22 % of population.
- Officers come into contact with 17% of the population annually.
- That means 53,380,000 contacts …
- Which led to 26,000 excessive force complaints against officers.
- That’s 0.049% of contacts.
- Only 8% of those complaints were sustained.
- That’s 2,080 out of 53,380,000 contacts, or .0039%
- You are seven times more likely to be murdered …
- 15 times more likely to be killed in a traffic accident …
- 42 times more likely to be raped …
… than to have a police officer use excessive force on you.
But we’re just warming up. Let’s look at 2015 police shootings – a time during which some argue police “brutality” spiked.
990 people were shot by police in 2015. Here’s the demographic breakdown of those “victims”:
- White — 494, 50%
- Black — 258, 26%
- Hispanic – 172, 17%
- Other — 66, 7%
- Mental illness played a role in 25%.
- 25% involved fleeing suspects.
- In 75% of the incidents, the officer was under attack or defending someone that was.
- Indictments of police officers tripled from previous years.
Listen. I’m not suggesting racism doesn’t exist in law enforcement. It exists everywhere – that’s the sad truth of it.
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And yes, black people in the United States are more likely to be victims of violent confrontations with police officers (per capita) than their white counterparts. But let’s dive deeper into why this is.
Statistically, minorities come to police attention far more than their population would suggest.
- Black Americans make up about 13% of the population.
- But according to the FBI, they account for about 50% of murders, and about 38% of all violent crime overall.
Chicago gives us some great examples. And let’s not forget the insanely strict gun laws there, by the way. For example, during the first eight months of 2016 (the most recent period for which the numbers are available), 2,818 people were shot — only 12 by police. (That’s one-half of 1 percent).
In cities with large black populations, homicide rates have skyrocketed during that same period:
- In Washington D.C., homicides are up 54%. In Cleveland, up 90%. Overall, homicide is up 17%.
- The U.S. Department of Justice says that Black people make up 15% of the population in the 75 largest counties in the United States, yet account for 62% of all robberies, 57% of murders, 45% of all assaults.
So what’s going on here? Are we confusing the color of one’s skin with poverty or inequality? It’s a fair argument. Black people tend to be greater offenders, statistically speaking, because they tend to be more disadvantaged, living in poorer urban areas with less access to public services.
Then of course there’s the argument about the “violent subculture theory.” This is the idea that some black communities have developed cultural values that are more tolerant of crime and violence.
I want to leave you with a few recent studies.
First, a 2016 study by Roland G. Fryer Jr., who is an economics professor at Harvard. He found that no racial bias could be detected in police shootings, in either the raw data or when accounting for controls. He also found racial bias was detected in lesser use of police force, but not deadly encounters. His recommendation?
“Black Lives Matter should seek solutions within their own communities rather than changing the behaviors of police and other external forces.”
Second, there were 6,095 black homicide deaths in 2014 according to FBI Data — the most recent year for which such data are available — compared with 5,397 homicide deaths for whites and Hispanics combined. Almost all of those black homicide victims had black killers.
Finally, police officers — of all races — are also disproportionately endangered by black assailants. Over the past decade, according to FBI data, 40% of cop killers have been black. Officers are killed by blacks at a rate 2.5 times higher than the rate at which blacks are killed by police.
Seems to me like the real problem here is socioeconomic disparities along with a public perception issue thanks to biased reporting. And let’s not forget the huge role that social media plays in disseminating false narratives and creating emotional, knee-jerk reactions.
It’s important to have very real conversations about racism in America and accountability among those who hold the thin blue line. Let’s just make sure we’re basing those conversations on facts and not feelings.
Go support Proud Pig and Brothers Before Others. Screw the haters.
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