- The Washington Times - Monday, January 5, 2015

Pittsburgh Police Chief Cameron McLay is facing criticism for a photo circulating on social media that shows him holding a sign promoting the hashtag #EndWhiteSilence during the city’s First Night parade.

The photo showed up on the Twitter page for End White Silence, a group that describes itself as “working to create a world that is free of destructive white privilege and oppression,” a local CBS affiliate reported.

The photo, which was retweeted by Chief McLay, showed him holding a sign that read: “I resolve to challenge racism @ work #EndWhiteSilence.”

Pittsburgh Police union President Howard McQuillan accused the chief of calling the police department racist.

“This has angered a lot of officers,” he said.

Sources told Pittsburgh’s KDKA that Chief McLay has been called to a meeting at City Hall regarding the photograph.

Chief McLay apologized in a statement for offending anyone with the photo, but ultimately stood by his action, explaining that he was hired “to restore the legitimacy of the police department.”

“To me, the term ‘white silence’ simply means that we must be willing to speak up to address issues of racial injustice, poverty, etc. In my heart, I believe we all must come together as community to address real world problems; and I am willing to be a voice to bring community together,” Chief McLay said, MSNBC reported.

“I did not seek these young activists out,” he said. “I was stopping for coffee at First Night. Their message is not anti-anybody. It is simply a call for awareness. The photo was a great, spontaneous moment in time. Please join dialogue for community healing.”

Mayor William Peduto said he supports the police chief.

“Chief McLay has been talking about ways the community and the police can come together to address racial issues from the very beginning of his time here in Pittsburgh, and Mayor Peduto completely supports him — that’s why he hired him,” spokesman Timothy McNulty wrote in an email to MSNBC.



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