Curtains Down On Cop Unions

SAG-AFTRA National Leadership: Gabrielle Carteris, David White, Rebecca Damon, the SAG-AFTRA Executive Committee

Black Lives Matter. ALL Black Lives Matter. As actors, we are to deliver stories that are meant to affect people and get them talking, and with our SAG-AFTRA National Leadership not taking strong action against disavowing police unions, it is a loud message they are not listening to the call to action of Black Lives Matter and organizers and activists in solidarity with Black Lives Matter.

Petition by
Sherman Oaks, California

To: SAG-AFTRA National Leadership: Gabrielle Carteris, David White, Rebecca Damon, the SAG-AFTRA Executive Committee
From: [Your Name]

To Gabrielle Carteris, David White, Rebecca Damon, and the entire SAG-AFTRA Executive Leadership Committee:

As we are protesting the killings of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, Ahmaud Arbery, Robert Fuller, Rayshard Brooks, Nina Pop, Tony McDade, Dominque “Rem’mie” Fells, Riah Milton, Oluwatoyin Salau, and the thousands of Black lives we have lost across America and are in the fight to dismantle white supremacy in our society, we are calling on SAG-AFTRA to pull the curtain on police unions. We, the members, joining our union comrades in the WGA, East, demand you, our leadership to disavow and to demand AFL-CIO to remove police unions as part of AFL-CIO membership.

While other unions were speaking out about the murder of George Floyd, police brutality and systemic racism, SAG-AFTRA lacked response for SIX DAYS after George Floyd’s death on May 25th. Prominent members of the union were in the streets protesting for days before SAG-AFTRA said anything. SAG-AFTRA finally released a statement May 31 (, only after union members were urging them to say anything at all.

The membership is aware the union released a statement June 11. In this statement (, the union called on police unions to “dismantle the structures they have erected that have been used to protect officers who engage in racially targeted violence, racial profiling, and other racist and unlawful conduct towards Black and other citizens of this country.” Gabrielle Carteris’ recommendations included demanding “police unions disavow those officers who target Black people.”

Here lies the enormous problem with asking for police reform from police unions specifically: historically, police unions abuse their power by covering up crimes their members commit. The Buzzfeed News investigation inside police unions across the country ( exposes their coverups and reveals what taxpayer money goes to and is concrete proof that police unions will never hold their members who commit police brutality and murdering of Black and Brown people accountable. Police unions are not going to disavow officers because they are part of a system that allows them to get away with murdering Black people. Releasing a statement that aims to work with police unions is hollow, ineffective, and silencing.
Gabrielle Carteris' statement is not strong enough and contains actions that will never be taken by police unions as they cannot and will not hold themselves accountable. You can’t have a couple of “bad apples” if the whole orchard is rotten.

We reiterate again: reform does not work, nor does giving empty statements to historically corrupt police unions. We as a society have tried it and it has failed. We need radical actions, and we uplift Black Lives Matter’s demand to divest away from the police to reinvest in our communities. In the June 11 statement, Gabrielle Carteris proudly claims that she is a VP in the AFL-CIO. Let’s put this power to use. This begins with SAG-AFTRA breaking away from AFL-CIO leadership, disavowing police unions as a whole, and demanding the AFL-CIO revoke their memberships.

We want real actions and demands over performative statements.

The membership is waiting.