FILE PHOTO: Small toy figures are seen in front of Google logo in this illustration picture, April 8, 2019. REUTERS/Dado Ruvic/Illustration
OAKLAND, Calif. (Reuters) – More than 1,600 workers at Alphabet Inc are petitioning its Google unit to stop selling email and other services to police departments, a source familiar with the matter said on Monday.
The workers in a petition seen by Reuters expressed disappointment with Google not joining the “millions who want to defang and defund” police departments. Civil rights activists across the United States for years have called for scaling back traditional policing, and the efforts have gained momentum through protests over the death of George Floyd in Minneapolis police custody last month.
“We should not be in the business of profiting from racist policing,” the Google petition said. It cited sales of the company’s G Suite package, which includes tools for email, document editing and file storage, to the police department in Clarkstown, New York.
Google and Clarkstown police did not immediately respond to requests for comment.
The company has faced internal criticism in the past over sales and partnerships involving the U.S. military, as well as foreign governments seen by human rights activists as authoritarian.
While the company has pulled back from some deals like facial recognition, it has responded to concerns by saying it remains committed to helping governments with cybersecurity and health care administration technology.
Reporting by Paresh Dave; Editing by Aurora Ellis