Last Updated on October 21, 2022
A group of FBI agents who knelt during the midst of the violent BLM riots that spawned from George Floyd’s death in 2020 are set to receive accolades. The FBI Agent’s association — which bills itself as “dedicated to advancing and safeguarding the careers, economic interests, conditions of employment and welfare of FBI agents and retired FBI agents — will honor the agents, who work in Washington D.C.
On June 4, 2020, a viral photo showed a number of FBI agents kneeling before the crowd of protesters, who had just burned down multiple city buildings and attacked the White House just a night before. According to a report from the Washington Times, FBI executive management praised the on-duty agents who knelt, one of which went so far as to hug one of the demonstrators.
In order to honor the gesture, the FBI Agent’s Association (FBIAA) will be providing the photographed agents with $100 gift cards in order to laud their “de-escalation tactics,” the New York Post reported.
According to the report, a number of active-duty and retired agents contacted FBIAA President Brian O’Hare in order to voice their displeasure with the move. “John Wilson, a trusted, widely respected former colleague and retired FBI unit chief who served as one of the attorney general’s handpicked protection-detail members between 2001 and 2007, says O’Hare advised him he fully supported this reward-the-kneelers idea his vice president, Wes Wheeler, proposed,” wrote former FBI special agent James Gagliano.
Wilson added that the FBI “has not only circled the drain, it is already in the grease trap by the curb.”
Founded in 1981, the FBIAA currently boats 14,000 members, including 90% of the bureau’s current agent workforce. The nonprofit’s decision to reward the agents for their political gesture comes at a time when public confidence in the agency is rapidly declining. According to a Gallup poll conducted in 2021, only 41% of respondents thought the FBI was doing a good job.
Those numbers are expected to plummet further as the Biden Administration’s politically motivated persecutions continue.