New Orleans’ Audubon Zoo cancels pro-police event, says it’s too ‘divisive’

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New Orleans’ Audubon Zoo and aquarium has canceled its annual Blue at the Zoo event after the community reportedly said that the event could be “unintentionally divisive.”

Blue at the Zoo, which was slated May 11-16, was designed to show support for the New Orleans Police Department and has been held in conjunction with the New Orleans Police & Justice Foundation.

Any patrons wearing blue for the event would be offered a discounted admission at the institute’s facilities.

What are the details?

In a Tuesday report from Nola.com, a statement from a spokesperson representing the institute said that the six-day promotion would be scrapped, as the “event could be unintentionally divisive” in the current climate.

THE SECOND WAVE

The announcement came just a week after the group announced the promotion, and according to the outlet, triggered “feedback … from members of our community and from persons outside of our community,” which prompted the institute to cancel the promotion.

The initial announcement lauded the department as a “nationally recognized leader in law enforcement reform,” and stated that the event was intended to “foster positive interactive experiences” between citizens and members of the New Orleans Police Department.

“As such, working with the New Orleans Police and Justice Foundation, Audubon will be considering alternative ways to promote meaningful and impactful engagement with the New Orleans Police Department,” the group added, according to WWL-TV.

What else?

New Orleans Police Superintendent Shaun Ferguson said the decision was “disappointing.”

“This event … was an excellent opportunity to connect with our community on a personal level,” Ferguson said in a statement. “Anyone looking at the issue objectively would see that our department is the model for the implementation of the constitutional policing reforms the public is demanding. Despite the cancelation of this event, we will continue to find ways to work with our community to build a stronger relationship and be the department they deserve.”

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