CLEVELAND, OHIO - The Cleveland Police Patrolmen’s Association voted, for the first time, to endorse a presidential candidate.
Donald Trump won overwhelmingly.
The results came down early Saturday morning with 216 members voting for Trump and just 68 in favor of Hillary Clinton.
The President of the CPPA says local police don’t feel protected or respected by President Obama and Hillary Clinton, while the President of the Black Shield Police Association says there should not have been an official endorsement, and if there had to be, it shouldn’t be for Trump.
Officer Lynn Hampton has spent 23 years with Cleveland Police. He’s the President of the Black Shield, a police association that promotes the interests of black officers in Cleveland. He and other members are troubled by the results of the CPPA vote. He says Donald Trump has views and supports tactics that could harm members of the Cleveland community. For one, Hampton specifically cited Trump’s push for “stop and frisk.”
“I don’t want to put that much power into the hands of police officers. I don’t think we’re ready for that responsibility right now,” said Hampton.
Steve Loomis, CPPA President and also a police officer for 23 years, was not surprised by the vote’s outcome. He says - point blank - law enforcement is under attack by President Obama and Hillary Clinton.
“It’s a very dangerous world out there right now and it’s more dangerous every day for the police officers who are out there trying to do their job,” said Loomis.
He says the democrats have bought into promoting the Black Lives Matter movement above all else and paid little or no attention to other important things in Cleveland and similar communities like quality education, addressing poverty, creating jobs and other issues.
“There’s a problem with black on black crime in every city in the country,” Loomis told us. “He’s at least acknowledged that there’s a problem,” Loomis said referring to Trump.
Hampton says the vote is essentially political suicide. With more than half of Cleveland’s population African American, he doesn’t think it’s a good idea for the police to back a presidential candidate who many may perceive is against them.
“If you don’t have their trust and you don’t build up that trust… then we got some problems,” said Hampton.
Loomis says race has nothing to do with it. For him it’s a police issue: protecting them so they can protect us.
“I will not tolerate anyone trying to paint me or this police department with a racist brush,” Loomis said.
Hampton doesn’t believe the Black Shield will be officially endorsing anyone for President, but he said his personal choice if anyone would be Hillary Clinton.