The Baltimore Police Union’s president wrote in an open letter to “Saturday Night Live” that their recent sketch was a “grossly inapt portrayal” of the city’s police officers.
On Saturday, the live comedy show aired a sketch titled “Traffic Stop” that featured host Seth Meyers and cast members Leslie Jones and Ego Nwodim. Jones and Nwodim wore cop uniforms with Baltimore Police badges. The two comedians played “thirsty cops” and commented on Meyers’ looks during a traffic stop.
Lt. Gene S. Ryan, the president of the Fraternal Order of Police Lodge 3, wrote in a letter to “Saturday Night Live” creator Lorne Michaels that the union took exception with the show's "distorted representation" of Baltimore police officers.
“As you are most likely aware, the Baltimore Police department is currently a very beleaguered agency in the throes of massive amounts of criticism and disrespect,” Ryan wrote. “Many of our members, especially young ones, are struggling with their choice of career and we are losing good and credible members daily.
“It is a difficult time in Baltimore and to portray our brave, hard-working members with such an inappropriate manner is very unfortunate,” he continued.
Ryan concluded the letter by saying the union appreciated “Saturday Night Live’s” contribution of humor to the country but believed the sketch “fell short of being humorous and felt, instead, like a sharp jab at a group of people who have dedicated their lives to serving others.”
The Baltimore Police Department has faced some challenges recently. In July, acting Baltimore Police Commissioner Gary Tuggle said he was assigning 115 more officers to work patrol shifts in an effort to reduce crime and violence.