With the GOP nominee for president having boasted about his ability to sexually assault women with impunity, a leading women’s group is asking the Fraternal Order of Police to back off of its endorsement of Donald J. Trump.
Officers take pride in defending the good work they do on behalf of crime victims, particularly in the face of heightened criticism. Trump and the national FOP were to appear at a rally together in Philadelphia on Oct. 10, but the event was canceled after audio of Trump’s lewd comments surfaced the Friday before.
The FOP cited a scheduling conflict, but the event has yet to be rescheduled, suggesting that internal dissent around the endorsement is growing. HuffPost reached out to the FOP the day after the remarks were made public. Repeated requests for comment since then have gone unreturned.
NARAL Pro-Choice America, meanwhile, is urging the FOP not to defend an alleged assailant. (You can sign the petition here.) To have a police group hold a public event championing Trump after at least a dozen women say he assaulted them puts victims in an awkward situation.
The Washington Post published audio of Trump bragging that because he is famous, he can kiss and grope women ― “grab them by the pussy,” in his words ― without their consent. At the last presidential debate, Trump said that the boast was merely “locker room talk,” and that he had never actually done what he claimed.
Of the millions of those watching that night, an untold number knew for a fact he was lying, and several began telling their stories publicly ― to The New York Times, People Magazine, The Huffington Post, The Guardian and elsewhere.
The FOP also represents thousands of African-American police officers, many of whom have complained publicly that a largely white leadership pushed through the endorsement without getting consensus.
“At a time when we’re all trying to unite and bring the world to a calm, the last person we need is a Donald Trump,” said David Fisher, president of the greater Philadelphia chapter of the National Black Police Association. “And the last thing the police need is to hitch its wagon to a Donald Trump.”
Calling on the FOP to rescind its endorsement is a tall ask, but it’s one worth making, as it might at least put enough pressure on the FOP that it decides not to reschedule its event with Trump. That alone would send a strong signal.
“No matter who commits it, sexual assault is a serious issue and a serious crime,” said NARAL President Ilyse Hogue. “Women need to trust the police to investigate sexual abuse claims ― not to endorse someone accused of them.”
To join the effort, add your name here and share the petition. The signatures will be delivered to Chuck Canterbury, the national president of the FOP.
Editor’s note: Donald Trump regularly incites political violence and is a serial liar, rampant xenophobe, racist, misogynist and birther who has repeatedly pledged to ban all Muslims — 1.6 billion members of an entire religion — from entering the U.S.