LAS VEGAS (KLAS) — NHL playoffs games were postponed Thursday and Friday, as players spoke out against the shooting of Jacob Blake in Wisconsin. Players banded together and choose not to play to shine a spotlight on racial injustice.
NHL players joined in a press conference Thursday night to speak on the matter, led in part by the Golden Knights’ Ryan Reaves. The Golden Knights also released a statement on Thursday in support of the players’ decision to not play.
That decision did not sit well with the President of the Las Vegas Police Police Protective Association — Steve Grammas. A letter signed by President Grammas was sent to the Vegas Golden Knights, expressing his “disappointment” in the team’s stance on the Jacob Blake shooting.
Grammas goes into detail about police procedure during the Wisconsin incident between Blake and police.
8 News Now obtained a copy of the letter, which was also sent out to police union members. You can read it in it’s entirety below:
This letter was emailed to Vegas Golden Knights in response to the latest statement the organization and players made regarding the recent shooting of Jacob Blake.
Dear Mr. Foley and the Golden Knights Hockey Team:
My name is Steve Grammas and I am a Police Officer with the Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department and also the President of the Las Vegas Police Protective Association, which represents over 3,500 commissioned officers between LVMPD and the City of Las Vegas.
I write to you and your organization to express my disappointment in the organization and the players for their position as it relates to the recent shooting of Jacob Blake. It appears, to my law enforcement brothers and sisters, that the Golden Knights would rather jump on the bandwagon of attacking the police profession rather than waiting for the facts of an event to be brought to light. Watching the video of the incident in Kenosha, I myself have many questions about how the officer ended up using deadly force. Rather than immediately siding with the officer, just because he and I share the same profession, I needed to wait to get FACTS of the incident. What I do know, from the DOJ report, was that the suspect was wanted for 3rddegree Sexual Assault, however, as I believe the reports on this are false regarding the victim being a child. The suspect was armed with a knife, which precludes an officer from closing the distance and going hands on. Officers deployed less lethal options, twice, in an attempt to subdue the suspect. And, I did not see this cited by the DOJ but rather the suspects attorney, his 3 children were in the car. This police department does not have body worn cameras, as is reported, and so we will never have video, firsthand view of the incident or dialogue of the incident. These right now are the only facts that have been substantiated. While all of these may not amount to an officer using deadly force, it plays a part in the total outcome when all of the facts are revealed. I wonder what the opinion of the Golden Knights and their players would be if the following were or are true:
1.What if the suspect told the officers he was going to get a firearm from his car to attempt to take their lives?
2. What if the suspect said he was going back into the car in an attempt to harm the children?
3. What if the suspect was stealing the car and kidnapping the kids from the mother?
4. What if he intended on a murder/ suicide which is all too common in Domestic Violence cases?
Now I do not know if any of the above are true, but neither do you or the players of the Golden Knights. That is why it is important to wait for a full and thorough investigation to happen. Yet you all make statements, boycott playing your sport and call for more action against the police!
Your organization is extremely quick to turn their back on law enforcement, which lends me to wonder if we have an incident in Las Vegas, where other sports groups or political parties say what the police did was wrong, with no facts, would you turn on us as well. It appears clear, the answer is yes!
When our officer was senselessly shot and paralyzed, you signed some sticks and sent them to his family. No boycott, no postponing of games. When hundreds of my officers were hit with rocks, bricks, bottles, edged weapons and even had guns fired at them, the only concern for VGK was figuring out how to finish the Stanley Cup. Again, no threat of cancelling the remainder of the season unless the violence against officers stopped.
It is clear, now, that your veiled support of the heroes of law enforcement, the same ones you praised for 1 October, is only when the media or a certain political party or other un-informed athletes tell you it is OK. That is not OK to me and it is not OK to the men and women I represent as is evident from the many texts, emails and Facebook posts that I have received.
To close, I ask that the next time VGK makes a statement about police, you all educate yourselves on the issue at hand or wait until more facts can be revealed. Nobody hates a bad cop more than a good cop.