Retail CEOs have recently called for Congress’ assistance amid the looting sprees that have left them with thousands of dollars worth of stolen or lost merchandise. These same companies also supported last year’s organizations to call for defunding the police.
Nearly 26 CEOs signed the letter asking Congress for assistance as theft crimes continue to rage. These included the heads of Target, Nordstrom and Levi Strauss, Ulta beauty, Home Depot, and Nordstrom.
Public support was pledged last year by companies during the nationwide protests and disturbances following George Floyd’s death. Many of these companies supported left-wing groups like Black Lives Matter, Equal Justice Initiative, and the ACLU. These groups advocate for defunding or reforming U.S. policing.
Nordstrom stores have been the focus of national attention for looters who stormed multiple California locations, causing damage of hundreds of thousands of dollars and stealing merchandise. Erik B. Nordstrom, the CEO, signed the letter asking Congress for support. Earlier this year, Nordstrom doubled its support for Black Lives Matter.
Black Lives Matter was the leader in rallying Americans last year to support defunding police forces.
These calls set off a chain reaction of liberal cities moving millions of dollars from police departments. This led to an increase in anti-police sentiments, followed by corresponding increases in police resignations and early retirements. The country’s departments are still having difficulty recruiting new officers.
As some cities reversed their course and asked for more police officers in the face of rising crime, police leaders have taken issue with reform advocates.
Black Lives Matter was not the only organization calling for reforms in policing. Others such as the Equal Justice Initiative and the National Urban League, and the Lawyers Committee for Civil Rights Under Law support reforms like reimagining “public security and community health,” changing the “divisive police policies” and advocating for bail reform.
Retail stores also donated support to these organizations, urging them to take action against smash-and-grab crime.
After Floyd’s passing, Levi Strauss & Co., the famous denim brand Levi Strauss & Co. announced that it would donate $100,000 for its “longstanding partnership, American Civil Liberties Union.”
The ACLU is “our nation’s guardian for liberty.” It is, however, the group that is responsible for the rampant smash and grabs according to West Coast police officers.
Home Depot pledged $1 million to the Lawyers Committee for Civil Rights Under Law. This group has taken issue in bail laws in the U.S. Ulta Beauty also announced that it would donate to Equal Justice Initiative.
The Lawyers Committee for Civil Rights Under Law was founded in 1963 at President John F. Kennedy’s request. Its criminal justice web page explains that it “challenges racial disparities in the criminal justice system which result from the criminalization and mass incarceration.” According to the nonpartisan group, “pretrial procedures that rely on money bail and formulaic rather than individualized bail determinations”disproportionately imprison people of color.
The Equal Justice Initiative states that policies that are tough on crime have resulted in mass incarceration. This is because of “the belief that Black and Brown people are inherently dangerous and guilty.” They also advocate for reallocating funds from traditional policing towards services that promote safety and security.
Similar sentiments have been expressed by police leaders, who claim that corporate leaders made donations in 2020 to avoid being called racist and now they are coping with the fallout from fewer officers and increased crime.
Requests for comment from the Equal Justice Initiative, National Urban League, Black Lives Matter, and the Lawyers Committee for Civil Rights Under Law were also not answered by these organizations.