A high-profile police lobbying organization has thrown its weight behind US President Donald Trump’s run for re-election, apparently breaking with its previous support for Joe Biden, who was backed by the group in 2012.
The National Association of Police Organizations (NAPO) – a lobby group representing some 2,000 police units and unions, as well as hundreds of thousands of officers – handed its endorsement to Trump on Wednesday evening, citing his “steadfast and very public support” for law enforcement.
“We particularly value your directing the Attorney General to aggressively prosecute those who attack our officers,” the group added, referring to Trump’s response to a spate of mass protests over police brutality kicked off in May, many of which have devolved into violent clashes between demonstrators and police.
NAPO is pleased to support your re-election campaign for president, and we are confident of your continued strong support of America’s law enforcement community.
NAPO has endorsed President Trump in his reelection campaign. Here is our endorsement letter which was issued following today’s meeting. pic.twitter.com/mf6ZUTf10l
While NAPO endorsed Barack Obama’s 2008 and 2012 presidential runs – and Biden as VP in the process – the organization has since soured on the career politician, with NAPO’s executive director Bill Johnson explaining that Biden had shifted too far to the political left and abandoned much of his previous support for police.
“Clearly, he’s made a lot of changes the way candidates do during the primary process, but he kept moving left and fell off the deep end,” Johnson told Politico last month.
“For Joe Biden, police are shaking their heads because he used to be a stand-up guy who backed law enforcement. But it seems in his old age, for whatever reason, he’s writing a sad final chapter when it comes to supporting law enforcement.”
Amid months of protests – sparked by the death of George Floyd, an unarmed black man killed in the custody of the Minneapolis police – a number of Democratic politicians have supported calls to defund police departments around the country. Though Biden himself has distanced himself from those demands, at times explicitly opposing them, the Trump campaign has sought to tie him to the position, insisting Biden “stands with” those calling to slash law enforcement budgets and that the country “won’t be safe” under his presidency. ‘Law and order’ has increasingly come to dominate Trump’s re-election bid, with the president repeatedly invoking those words since the Floyd protests erupted last spring, while voicing loud support for police officers.
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