The Fraternal Order of Police’s endorsement of Donald Trump has exposed a divide in the ranks of law enforcement, the Associated Press reports: Can police 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? FOP said Trump is the one 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. The FOP and Trump were to have appeared at a rally Monday in Philadelphia. 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. Chuck Canterbury, president of the 340,000-member organization, said the event was canceled because Hurricane Matthew struck his hometown of Myrtle Beach, S.C., and that he hopes to reschedule it. FOP has a history of backing Republicans. The recent exception was Bill Clinton during his re-election in 1996, after the 1994 federal crime law paid for the hiring of thousands of new officers. Several leaders of 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.