A secretive political group has been pulling in millions of dollars amid a growing “Blue Lives Matter” movement, with a cadre of telemarketers telling Americans that now is the time to support the police and keep them safe, CNN reports. The calls, which often target elderly donors, come from generic and similar-sounding aliases: The Police Officers Support Association, the National Emergency Responders Coalition and the National Coalition for Police & Troopers. Donors say they believed they were supporting a charity that helps local officers. None of the money goes to police departments. Instead, the contributions end up with a super PAC, Law Enforcement for a Safer America, which has ties to a controversial union and spends most of its money on its own operating costs.
At least seven local police departments and a state attorney general have issued “scam alerts” and other notices about these fundraising efforts, warning residents in their communities that they have no affiliation with this group. Around 200 consumer complaints have also been made to state and federal regulators about the super PAC, its aliases and related groups. Videos on the PAC’s website show cities in flames and say officers have been injured during what the group describes as riots. “Now those same anarchists that rioted and assaulted law enforcement officers are using the Taliban playbook by destroying public statues and monuments while advocating for defunding law enforcement agencies,” a narrator says. Law Enforcement for a Safer America raked in nearly $10 million from January 2019 to June 2020, says the Federal Election Commission. The vast majority of donations since 2019 were under $200, meaning the funds came from tens of thousands of donors. Of those who gave more than $200, which are required to be disclosed, 80 percent were retirees. The operation is run by a group called the International Union of Police Associations.