The local and national Fraternal Order of Police have endorsed Donald Trump for president.
According to the national FOP press release, “Mr. Trump has seriously looked at the issues facing law enforcement today. He understands and supports our priorities and our members believe he will make America safe again.”
The FOP is the largest law enforcement labor organization in the United States with more than 330,000 members.
According to published reports, FOP Lodge No.5 President John McNesby, said the local union is bound by the National Fraternal Order of Police, to endorse Trump.
The local organization that represents African-American police officers has denounced the Philadelphia Fraternal Order of Police’s decision to support Trump.
Rochelle Bilal, head of the Philadelphia Guardian Civic League, which represents about 2,500 African-American officers, said the organization did not support the local FOP’s decision to back Trump.
“Our Local is saying that they have to follow the lead,” Bilal told The Tribune. “We are saying that you don’t — that when you know that you got Black, brown and other members of this organization, if you don’t care about supporting an outrageous bigot, then you need to find a way to give us our money back from our membership.
“We don’t like that decision and we will do all that we can to ensure that those conscious members do not follow that lead,” she stressed.
The FOP’s decision has left Bilal wondering if the organization’s officials actually care about their members of color.
We are wondering the same.
The local and national are free to endorse whoever they want but they should be aware that the decision to endorse Trump will only further the growing divide between police and the communities of color that police are sworn to serve and protect.
Their endorsement is also offensive to many of its African-American, Latino and Muslim American police officers. The FOP is endorsing a presidential candidate who has repeatedly made offensive remarks against Mexican immigrants, African Americans, Muslim Americans and women.
Trump has called Mexican immigrants “rapists” and “criminals”, supported the controversial policy of stop-and-frisk and endorsed religious profiling of Muslim Americans. He has stereotyped African Americans as all living in poor, crime-ridden communities.
The local and national FOP endorsement of Trump comes at a time when tensions are high between African Americans and police because of police shootings of unarmed African Americans.