Black Lives Matter gathered in front of the Cleveland police union headquarters Tuesday evening to protest the union’s endorsement of Republican nominee Donald Trump.
There were reportedly dozens, and maybe over 100, protesters gathered outside of the Cleveland Police Patrolmen’s Association (CPPA), out of concern the endorsement would elevate mistrust among minority groups towards law enforcement.
Former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani visited the CPPA Tuesday, where he thanked the officers for their work during the Republican National convention, which was held in Cleveland in July.
“It appears that Cleveland citizens are in the middle of a Hollywood good cop/ bad cop routine, with the City’s Mayor, City Council, Law Director, and the Cleveland Division of Police (CDP) on one side and the CPPA on the other side,” Black Lives Matter said after the endorsement.
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, president of the BSA, said in a statement. Hampton predicted that it, “would give wind and give fuel” to people who already mistrust the police department.
The Cleveland NAACP has also not only blasted the union for publicly endorsing Trump, but 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 NAACP statement read.
“It’s hypocritical for the protesters to criticize his right of free speech while exercising their own,” Steve Loomis, president of the CPPA said Tuesday evening, according to WKSU.
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.
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