The National Park Service withdrew almost $100,000 in funding pledged to a project honoring the Black Panther Party after a powerful police union complained to President Trump himself.
As the Associated Press reported on Monday, the NPS had promised $98,000 to the University of California at Berkeley for a two-year research project on the revolutionary black nationalist group, which was founded in Oakland in 1966.
But that was unacceptable to the Fraternal Order of Police, an organization with more than 300,000 members that endorsed Trump in the 2016 presidential race, which expressed “outrage and shock” about the park service funding, citing the the murder of Ranger Kenneth Patrick by a member of the Black Panthers in 1973.
“Why would the NPS seek to commemorate the activities of an extremist separatist group that advocated the use of violence against our country—a country they perceived as their enemy?” the police group said in a letter addressed to Trump.
The letter, which was dated October 19, also sanctimoniously, and falsely, claimed that “the only meaning” the Panthers “brought to any lives was grief to the families of their victims.”
NPS spokesman Jeremy Barnum called the decision to yank the funds a “cooperative agreement,” claiming that the money hadn’t finalized. He also said the decision was made “after an additional review of the project.”