Cleveland’s police union is taking heat from some of its own members, after it decided to publicly endorse Donald Trump for president.
Cleveland Police Patrolman’s Association president Steve Loomis said the unprecedented vote by union members was in response to Hillary Clinton’s “anti-police” rhetoric, but the vote is not sitting well with The Black Shield Police Association, which is comprised largely of minority officers.
“It’s almost like a slap in the face,” Black Shield president Lynn Hampton said. "We took an oath to protect and serve. The police officers are servants of the city and however the community speaks out, we have to listen to that.”
Hampton said he worried the vote would hurt already-strained relations between police and the majority-minority communities they serve.
“I really don’t care what it says to them,” Loomis said. "I’m an American citizen. We’re American police officers and we have an absolute right to support whoever we want in this candidacy.”
Loomis said 71 percent of about 300 members who voted chose to support Trump.
Outside the CPPA’s W. 58th Street office on Tuesday, more than 100 people protested the decision, even calling for Loomis to resign, just hours after former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani paid a visit to Cleveland, where he praised the endorsement.