The Cleveland chapter of the NAACP blasted the city’s police union for endorsing Republican nominee Donald Trump for president.
The local NAACP chapter released a statement criticizing the president of the police union, Steve Loomis, for supporting Trump because he would be a “friend of the police.”
“Steve Loomis implies that findings that Cleveland officers have beaten, maimed and killed unarmed men and women would somehow be allowed to go unchallenged under a Trump administration,” the statement from the group stated.
The Cleveland Police Patrolmen’s Association (CPPA), which represents 1,450 officers and staff, overwhelmingly voted to endorse the Republican nominee, with Trump receiving 216 votes and Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton getting 68.
The union moved forward with the endorsement, despite concerns from some of its members that choosing a candidate may alienate community members.
The Cleveland NAACP also criticized minority police officers for failing to participate in the vote, and accused black and Hispanic officers of being complicit in this “tragedy” and of “failing” their community.
“By most estimates, there are over 500 Black and Hispanic officers who were eligible to vote on this issue. Where was your support for Lynn Hampton… and the other 67 brave officers who voted ‘No?'” the statement read.
Before the vote, the president of the local Black Shield Association (BSA), an organization set up to represent the interests of black police officers, voiced her opposition of endorsing a candidate, citing concerns of community relations.
“It would just be not a good thing for us to be involved in endorsing anyone right at this particular time,” Lynn Hampton said in a statement before the group voted to support Trump.
BSA also highlighted fears that the union endorsement could elevate the mistrust among minority groups towards law enforcement. “I think it would give wind and give fuel to people who think that way about the police department,” Hampton said.
Loomis has previously met with Trump on numerous occasion, participating in a roundtable discussion with the Republican nominee and other union leaders in early September. He also appeared at a Trump rally in Akron during an August visit.
The National Fraternal Order of Police endorsed Trump for president in Sept., as have police associations throughout the country.
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