To endorse the president, police unions and associations are bucking the American Federation of Labor and Congress of Industrial Organizations or AFL-CIO, according to a new report in The Washington Times.
They are also mobilizing in support of the incumbent, which could help Trump in tightly contested battleground states.
Union chapters that have previously kept mum on political positions at any level are siding with the president, creating a trickle-down effect.
“Because of this particular election process with ‘defund the police,’ we decided to get involved in this presidential election,” explained the association’s executive director, John Midgette.
While Democratic challenger Joe Biden has presented himself as a moderate candidate and previously claimed he would not defund police departments, the connection Biden had with law enforcement during more than four decades in Washington reportedly appears to be weakening following protests after the death of George Floyd, a Black man who perished while being detained by police.
In 1994, Biden backed a crime bill that included grant money to help communities hire 100,000 more police officers and he donated $26,000 in leftover campaign funds to build a memorial for fallen Delaware law enforcement in 2009.
Biden has since sought to distance himself from the 1994 legislation and called for dramatic overhauls to policing on the campaign trail.
Trump, meanwhile, has sought to position himself as a “law and order” president, characterizing the former vice president’s stance on riots as weak and calling him a “puppet” of the radical left.
Although the Biden campaign has seen some support from organizations like the nonprofit National Association of Black Law Enforcement Executives and the National Coalition of Justice Practitioners, the influential National Association of Police Organizations has endorsed the president.
Westmoreland County, Pa., Sheriff James Albert, 70, wrote in a scathing op-ed that he was outraged by Democrats’ refusal to condemn “arson, mob rule and attacks against law enforcement.”
“These outrageous, lawless acts have been met with silence, acquiescence and, in some instances, outright support from the local, state and national leadership of the Democratic Party,” said Albert, who changed his party affiliation to Republican.