Police unions nationwide have largely supported President Donald Trump’s reelection amid mass demonstrations over police brutality and accusations of systemic racism. Some Black law enforcement officers are speaking out against these endorsements, saying their concerns were ignored, the Associated Press reports. Trump has touted his law enforcement support, which includes endorsements from national, city and state officers’ unions. He’s running on a “law and order” platform and tapping into a strain of anger and frustration felt by officers who believe they are unfairly accused of racial discrimination. The number of minority officers in policing has more than doubled in the last three decades, but many departments still have a smaller percentage of Black and Hispanic officers than the percentage of the local population.
Many Black police organizations were formed both to advocate for equality within police departments and to focus on how law enforcement affects the wider Black community. There have often been tensions between minority organizations and larger unions. In August, the National Association of Black Law Enforcement Officers condemned use of deadly force, police misconduct and abuse in communities of color. Many Black officers say the endorsements for Trump don’t fairly represent all dues-paying members. “We are members of these unions, and they don’t take into consideration our feelings about Donald J. Trump, then they don’t care about us and … they don’t care about our dues,” said Rochelle Bilal of of the Guardian Civic League of Philadelphia, calling the National Fraternal Order of Police’s Trump endorsement an “outrage.” The Fraternal Order of Police represents about 350,000 officers nationally, but does not track racial demographics. FOP leaders said they have heard from members who object to the Trump endorsement but that all 44 state chapters that cast a ballot voted for Trump.