Amid rising crime and clashes with protesters, the New York City Police Union will today announce its support for President Trump’s re-election bid.
The Police Benevolent Association (PBA), which represents more than 24,000 officers, remained neutral in the 2016 presidential election when President Trump ran against Democrat Hillary Clinton. The mistreatment and discredit to which they have been subjected to by Democratic officials, especially in the last months after the death of George Floyd, made the union take a political stance and give its support to President Trump who is running as a “law and order” candidate.
New York’s Democratic government, led by Gov. Andrew Cuomo and Mayor Bill de Blasio, backed laws that the union perceives as anti-police.
According to the New York Post, during the past year, the governor and the New York State Legislature have reformed criminal justice laws that include, for example, eliminating cash bail for those accused of many crimes and promoting the disclosure of internal police disciplinary records.
Recently, de Blasio and the City Council passed a law limiting police action and the use of force and maneuvers to contain suspects who resist arrest. They also made substantial cuts in the NYPD budget.
In a show of discontent by the police with the decisions imposed by the Democratic government, the police unions jointly filed a lawsuit with the City of New York. The lawsuit was filed Wednesday, Aug. 5, in Manhattan’s Supreme Court and signed by 18 different unions representing NYPD officers, the New York Post reported.
The murder of George Floyd provoked an unprecedented national response that included some peaceful protests, and many violent confrontations with police—incidents of looting, destruction of public spaces, and demands by activists to “defund the police.”
The rioters’ demands were well received by Democratic rulers across the country. They began a process of cutbacks and transfer of funds leading to a definancing of the police forces that, in many cases, made possible an exponential increase in crime and violence in the streets.
De Blasio pledged in June to transfer an unspecified amount of the NYPD’s $6 billion annual budget to “youth initiatives and social services,” saying, “Vigilance is important, but investments in our youth are critical.” According to Fox News, in July the mayor kept his promise and made the $1 billion cut official.
“It’s not just about taking money from the police, it’s about reinvesting those dollars in black communities,” said Black Lives Matter co-founder Patrisse Cullors, according to the New York Post.
President Trump was critical of these measures. While he never defended the inappropriate behavior of the police officers who led to Floyd’s death, he was adamant that the position of not supporting law enforcement can never be an option for ending crime and insecurity. He even repeatedly threatened New York authorities to send federal officials to help restore order.
Amid the struggle, police groups have united in support of the president. Last month, the National Association of Police Organizations, a group representing more than 1,000 police units and associations across the country, backed President Trump. And now the PBA, the largest police union in the country, has joined in.
PBA President Patrick Lynch met with President Trump at the White House on July 31. He said, “In our city, we’re going through a difficult time. We have a progressive mayor that’s anti-police; the City Council that’s anti-police; and the statehouse is anti-police. So they’re changing the law where it’s becoming impossible to do our job,” according to the New York Post.