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Ford to continue making police cars despite online pressure to stop

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The Ford Police Interceptor utility is seen at the North American International Auto Show in Detroit, Tuesday, Jan. 11, 2011. (AP Photo/Carlos Osorio)

LOOUISVILLE, Ky. (CNN) — Ford CEO Jim Hackett says the company is not getting out of the police car business despite a recent online petition calling them to do so.

Employees have called for the automaker to stop selling police cars after a series of high-profile killings of Black Americans by police.

A public petition on Change.org has gained about 12,000 signatures in the last month.

The Ford Interceptor is widely acknowledged as the nation’s best selling police vehicle.

“It should be clear both [Chairman] Bill Ford and I believe deeply that there is no room for the systemic repression and racism that have been exhibited by law enforcement encounters gone wrong,” Hackett said in his memo to staff. “We’ve said clearly that Black Lives Matter. We do believe strongly that more transparency and accountability is required in police operations.”

Hackett says the company can continue to sell it while still supporting ‘Black Lives Matter.’ In fact, he says it’s better for both police and the public for Ford to sell cops the most advanced vehicles possible.

“It’s not controversial that the Ford Police Interceptor helps officers do their job,” he said. “The issues plaguing police credibility have nothing to do with the vehicles they’re driving. In fact, as we imagine the future power of our connected vehicles, smarter Ford vehicles can be used to not only improve officers’ ability to protect and serve, but also provide data that can make police safer and more accountable.”

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