The Cleveland police union’s decision to endorse Republican nominee Donald Trump has frustrated some members of the city’s black community, who are now calling on the union to rescind the endorsement.
Cleveland’s Black Shield Police Association — which represents the city’s black police officers — and leaders of the city’s black community are demanding the Cleveland Police Patrolmen’s Association (CPPA) take back its Sept. 30 endorsement of Trump. CPPA members overwhelmingly voted to endorse Trump, who received 216 votes to Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton’s 68 votes.
Speaking at a press conference Thursday afternoon, Black Shield President Lynn Hampton called the union’s endorsement of Trump “deeply concerning” and asserted that the endorsement is not indicative of all the city’s police officers.
“The endorsement of a candidate who is reckless and has a history of being racist and has continues to insult people from different backgrounds and religion is totally unacceptable,” Hampton told reporters.
Some leaders are not just calling for a recension of the union’s endorsement, but are demanding the resignation of CPPA’s union head, Steve Loomis. City Councilman Zack Reed called for Loomis to be removed from a position on a consent decree panel charged with working to improve police-community relations.
Loomis has doubled down on his union’s endorsement, and has close ties with Trump. He has met with the Republican nominee on numerous occasions, participating in a roundtable discussion with the Republican nominee and other union leaders in early September. Loomis also appeared at a Trump rally in his formal department in Akron during an August visit.
Black Lives Matter, local black churches and the Cleveland NAACP chapter have voiced their concerns about the endorsement. The NAACP has 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?’” an NAACP statement read following the Sept. 30 vote.
Police union spokesman Joe Rice to Cleveland’s WKYC that there would be no rescinding of the endorsement.
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