Cleveland police union endorses presidential candidate for 1st t - Cleveland 19 News Cleveland, OH

Cleveland police union endorses presidential candidate for 1st time

(Source: Newspath) (Source: Newspath)

For the first time in the organization's history, the Cleveland Police Patrolmen's Association has endorsed a candidate for president of the United States.

The organization's members voted on which candidate to endorse Friday from noon to midnight.

According to the association's President Steve Loomis, it's important that they endorse someone because police officers are "under attack." He says the Cleveland Police Department also has credibility nationally after the way they were praised for handling security for the Republican National Convention.

Though Hillary Clinton has said she wants to take some guns -- like high-power assault-style weapons -- off the streets and put more police officers on them, an overwhelming majority of police union members don’t trust her policies will do enough to curb a growing crime rate in cities like Cleveland.

The majority of the union's members want Republican Donald Trump to be the next commander-in-chief.

Here are the results:

  • Trump 216
  • Clinton 68
  • Johnson 6
  • Stein 2
  • 14 voided (including one vote for Tupac)

"After the committee counted all votes cast, I am proud to announce the CPPA has voted to endorse Mr. Donald Trump for President of the United States ... as with all elections, this endorsement is not supported by all CPPA members, it is however supported by the majority of members," says Loomis in a letter to members.

On Saturday, a shooting left a man dead in the middle of E. 79th. Councilman Zack Reed knows police have their hands full and thinks everyone is entitled to their personal opinions, but believes police groups like the CPPA shouldn't be diving into this arena, particularly with the U.S. Dept. of Justice still in Cleveland scrutinizing police after the Tamir Rice shooting.

The decision to endorse someone was also voted on, passing 44-2 in a recent vote among shift directors and 25-24 among general membership, according to Loomis.

President Michael L. Nelson of the NAACP Cleveland Branch issued the following statement: 

"The Cleveland NAACP respects the constitutional right of the Cleveland Police Patrolmens Association to exercise their first amendment rights to free expression as evidenced by their endorsement of Donald Trump for President.

Notwithstanding the aforementioned we find such an endorsement troubling on four counts: 

1.Cleveland Police officers take an oath that they will uphold the Constitution of the United States.  The CPPA has compromised their oath by voting to support a man that has indicated that he will engage in racial profiling and consider "stop- and- frisk" of minority citizens in a manner that violates the United States Constitution.

2. When a candidate states that he will engage in ethnic cleansing by enacting an immigration policy that would break up families by deporting tens of thousands of people based in nothing but their race. This violates every tenet of the American spirit and those who are sworn to protect and serve should reject outright such demagoguery.

3.The CPPA action shows that they fail to recognize the fact that they are under a federal consent decree for engaging in a pattern and practice of excessive use of force.  The President of the CPPA based his support of Trump on his belief that Trump would be a "friend of police."  In other words, 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.   This reveals the CPPA's goon mentality and disdain for the lives of those it is sworn to serve.

4. Finally, we are forced to ask the question, where were the Black and Hispanic officers who are voting members of the CPPA?  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, President of the Black Shield Police Association, and the other 67 brave officers who voted "No?"  Did you not recall that the person that their union was considering as the best candidate has embraced the support of known white supremacist and Ku Klux Klan member David Duke?  

He disrespected Judge Gonzalo Curiel, an American citizen, because of his Mexican heritage.  He was sued by the United States Justice Department twice for not renting to Black people, he disrespected the first Black President of the United States by making a false narrative questioning President Obama's citizenship and he encouraged mob violence against five innocent Black New Yorkers falsely accused and convicted of rape, whose convictions were overturned when DNA proved they had nothing to do with the crime.  

Your failure to show up makes you complicit in this travesty.  When the community asked for leadership, you failed.  Now once again our city is held up to national ridicule and our citizens left to ponder the question, "Whose protecting and serving us?"

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