The union representing the UMASS Amherst campus police announced Wednesday that officers who work overtime details required for security if/when Ray Luc Levasseur speaks on campus November 12 will donate all of their pay from that day to a memorial fund set up for a New Jersey state trooper killed in a wave of violence between 1976 and 1984 by a radical group Levasseur was involved with.
Levasseur was released from federal prison in 2004 after serving 18 years for his involvement in United Freedom Front. The group was linked to shootouts with police, bank robberies, and a series of bombings. He was invited to be part of a panel Thursday night speaking about terrorism. The news has sparked outrage from law enforcement and political leaders and very little defense from freedom of speech advocates.
As is with any controversial, or even outwardly unpopular event, police have to be present to maintain peace. This happens all the time — even black officers have been forced to work security details protecting Ku Klux Klan members marching down city streets across the country.
“The (International Brotherhood of Police Officers, Local 432) union leadership wishes it to be recognized that the Local, on behalf of the Officers who will be forced to work this event for public safety concerns plan to donate all proceeds obtained for working this
paid over-time detail to the National Law Enforcement Memorial Fund in the name of Fallen New Jersey State Trooper Philip Joseph Lamonaco,” said Gerald Perkins, a union spokesman.