Fraternal Order of Police: Trump endorsement exposes split in the ranks, but “There is a sense that he genuinely cares.”

LISA MARIE PANE, Associated Press ATLANTA (AP) 10/14 — A national police organization’s endorsement of Donald Trump has exposed a divide within the ranks of law enforcement: Can they support someone who calls himself the law-and-order candidate but was caught on tape bragging about sexually predatory behavior toward women?

And what about Trump antagonizing the very minority communities that police agencies need to win over amid turmoil over police shootings of unarmed black men?

Last month, the national Fraternal Order of Police endorsed the New York businessman, saying he’s the candidate who takes time to understand the issues facing law enforcement. Now, some officers — particularly African-Americans — are questioning whether Trump is worthy of the endorsement.

“At a time when we’re all trying to unite and bring the world to a calm, the last person we need is a Donald Trump,” said David Fisher, president of the greater Philadelphia chapter of the National Black Police Association. “And the last thing the police need is to hitch its wagon to a Donald Trump.”

The FOP and Trump were to have appeared at a rally last Monday in Philadelphia, weeks after the endorsement was made. But the event was abruptly canceled after the release of a video from 2005 in which Trump can be heard making a series of vulgar and sexually aggressive remarks about women.

The cancellation triggered talk among police that it came in response to the video and to pushback from officers already angry over the endorsement. Chuck Canterbury, president of the 340,000-member organization, told The Associated Press that the event was canceled because Hurricane Matthew struck his hometown of Myrtle Beach, South Carolina, and that he hopes to reschedule it.

Canterbury said any endorsement is determined by agreement of at least two-thirds of the group’s 45 state lodges. The national FOP and its executive board have no say in the matter, he said.

The FOP has a history of backing Republicans. A recent exception was Bill Clinton during his re-election in 1996, after the Crime Bill of 1994 paid for the hiring of thousands of new officers across the country.

The only time the group hasn’t endorsed a presidential candidate in its 102-year history was in 2012, when neither Republican Mitt Romney nor Democrat Barack Obama was seen as friendly enough to its cause.

Several leaders among black police groups said they considered the FOP endorsement to be a reflection of an organization dominated by whites who are insensitive to the needs of black communities and black officers.

“Trust me, it was a group of white males who made that decision,” said Fisher, who retired a year ago after nearly three decades as a Philadelphia detective and officer. He noted that black officers often live in the communities they serve, some of the same neighborhoods feeling disenfranchised and at odds with police.

“I go home to an African-American community,” Fisher said. “After every shooting and every illegal stop, I go and I have to sit in a barbershop. There are some things you can never defend.”

Canterbury rejected any suggestion that the endorsement decision was made by “50 old white guys sitting around a table. … Members all across the country made that decision.”

Reggie Miller, the chairman of the National Black Police Association and a retired officer from Nashville, Tennessee, disputed the idea that Trump is a law-and-order candidate and said he’s offered more platitudes than details on how to combat police shootings, racism and inequities.

“When you say ‘restore law and order,’ what does that mean? How do you do that? Or do you want to bring back stop and frisk?” he said, referring to a police tactic widely seen as based on racial profiling.

Trump has won support for carving out time at his stops around the country to shake hands of the police providing security. But it hasn’t been without controversy.

In Summit County, Ohio, for example, Sheriff Steve Barry took flak after SWAT team officers posed for a photo with Trump — a move that appeared to some to be a political endorsement. Barry, a Democrat, took to Facebook to say the photo op was simply a memento.

Such stops, however, have endeared Trump to officers who believe he has their backs. Few seem interested in supporting Hillary Clinton, who has long had a frosty relationship with law enforcement.

“Law enforcement in general feels Donald Trump is genuine when he talks about law enforcement. He’s been complimentary. He has defended law enforcement,” said Travis Yates, editor of “There is a sense that he genuinely cares.”

Posted in: Police Organizations, Politics

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

two + 3 =

Terms of Use for Posting Comments

Terms of Use

This site (the “Site”) is operated and maintained by Law Enforcement Education Foundation, Corporation (“Company”). Throughout the Site, the terms “we”, “us” and “our” refer to Company.  The words “user,” “you” and “your” as used herein refer to you.

Please read these terms and conditions of use (“Terms of Use”) carefully before contributing content. If you do not agree to these Terms of Use, please do not contribute content. Your use of the Site is subject to the Terms and Conditions found here .

By contributing content to the Site, you represent and warrant that you are at least eighteen (18) years old and that you have read and understand these Terms of Use and any amendments thereto and agree to be bound by them. If you are not at least eighteen (18) years old or you do not agree and accept these Terms of Use, you are prohibited from contributing content.

From time to time, we may permit users to submit content to the Site.  You hereby acknowledge and agree that by submitting remarks, comments, suggestions, ideas, graphics, feedback, edits, concepts, comments, photographs, illustrations and other materials (other than personal information and/or registration information) through the Site (individually and collectively, “Submissions”), you (i) grant us a nonexclusive, royalty-free, perpetual, transferable, irrevocable and fully sub-licensable right to use, reproduce, modify, adapt, translate, distribute, publish, create derivative works from and publicly display and perform such Submissions throughout the world in any media, now known or hereafter created, without attribution to you; (ii) grant us the right to pursue at law any person or entity that violates your and/or our rights in your Submissions; and (iii) forever waive any and all of your rights, including but not limited to moral rights, if any, in and to your Submissions, including, without limitation, any all rights or requirements of attribution or identification of you as the author of the Submission or any derivative thereof.  We reserve the right to remove any of your Submissions from the Site, in whole or in part, without notice to you, for any reason or no reason.

Submissions are made voluntarily. Any submissions which include personally identifiable information are subject to our Privacy Policy found here .  You may not upload or otherwise publish content on the Site that (i) is confidential to you or any third party; (ii) is untrue, inaccurate, false or other than an original work of your authorship; (iii) that relates to or impersonates any other person; (iv) violates the copyright, trademark, patent or other intellectual property rights of any person or entity; (v) contains any content, personally identifiable information or other information, or materials of any kind that relate or refer to any other person or entity other than the provider of the products, goods or services to which the Submission relates; or (vi) violates any law, or in any manner infringes or interferes with the rights of others, including but not limited to the use of names, information, or materials that (A) libel, defame, or invade the privacy of any third party, (B) are obscene or pornographic, (C) are harmful, threatening, offensive, abusive, harassing, vulgar, false or inaccurate, racially, sexually, ethnically or are otherwise objectionable or otherwise contrary to the laws of any place where such Submissions may be accessed; (D) constitute personal attacks on other individuals; (E) promote criminal, immoral or illegal activity; (F) promote or advertise any person, product or service or solicit funds; or (G) are deemed confidential by any contract or policy.

You are solely responsible for any Submissions you make and their accuracy. We take no responsibility and assume no liability for any Submissions posted by you or any third party.

Unless approved by us in writing in advance, you agree not to: (i) provide or create a link to the Site; or (ii) create any frames at any other sites pertaining to any of the content located on the Site.

We reserve the right, in our discretion, to update, change or replace any part of these Terms of Use for Posting Comments by posting updates and/or changes to our Site.  It is your responsibility to check this page periodically for changes.  Your continued use of, and/or access to the Site, following the posting of any changes to these Terms of Use for Posting Comments, constitutes your acceptance of those changes.