SANTA CLARA, Calif. (KTVU) - At Levi's Stadium Thursday, there was a different kind of police procession.. Nearly a dozen members of various associations across the country joined with the Red-and-Gold in hopes of creating safer communities.
"I think we can bring law enforcement and the communities they serve closer together. and I'm proud we're starting that effort,” said San Francisco 49ers team president Jed York.
He led the way as one-by-one, each of the assembled signed a pledge to help pass U-S House Resolution 39-99. The bill would ban the sale of so-called gun bump stocks, a device allowing a semi-automatic riffle to fire like an automatic, drastically increasing the number of rounds shot at a target.
"...common sense laws should be put in place to protect police officers and the citizens we serve," said Rob Harris of the alps Angels Police Protective League.
Accused Las Vegas gunman Stephen Paddock used several weapons, some augmented with bump stocks, to spray bullets on a crowd of concert-goers. Paddock allegedly killed 58 people, and wounded hundreds in the crime, including some police officers..
"If as a country, we hope to make any progress on making this a more understanding and safer country, it will take all of us to leave our comfort zones," said Harris. Ed Mullins from the NYPD Benevolent Assoc. added, police officers, men and women in blue across the nation are good guys. and we need the support of everyone in order to provide the safety in this nation for all of us."
Police officers are joining with the NFL at a time when many players still kneel during the national anthem. That protest has been criticized as disrespectful to law enforcement and the military.
"Niner" linebacker Eric Reid says he sees this pledge between police and the league as a potential pivot point away from discord, and toward unity..
"We just have to continue to push the correct narrative, that we're trying to make our country better. and what the 49ers are doing is a testament to that. stepping up to the plate to make the community better,” said Reid after the team’s Thursday morning practice.
To get the message out about gun safety, part of the pledge calls for half a million dollars of seed money from the 49ers. It'll be used to produce public safety announcements for passage of the bump stock ban. Those announcements will begin here in the Bay Area but hopefully will spread to other NFL cities.