The recent wave of mass protests against police brutality sweeping the country has spawned numerous hashtags and slogans. One of the most popular of which is Black Lives Matter, which gave rise to the hashtag All Lives Matter. Now there is a third offshoot of the slogan causing controversy, the hashtag Police Lives Matter.
The new slogan is being printed on T-shirts designed by former NYPD detective Andrew Liakos, a 13-year veteran of the police force. Liakos started printing the shirts after protests erupted over a New York grand jury’s decision not to indict NYPD officer Daniel Pantaleo. Pantaleo was the police officer seen on video administering an illegal chokehold, which was a primary cause of death for Eric Garner. Liakos has stated, “Part of the reason I started the design is because I feel like people don’t appreciate us the way they should.” The t-shirts sell for $25 each and according to Liakos he has sold at least 200 of the items. This is the second T-shirt that has been created by a cop which steals and redefines a slogan of the protest movement against police brutality. The slogan “I can’t breathe” was rebranded by a police officer on T-shirts to read “Breathe Easy, Don’t Break the Law.”