‘We’re Fighting for Our Lives Out There,’ Say Police Unions Endorsing Trump Reelection
Aug. 19, 2020 (EIRNS)— Police unions and associations around the United States are endorsing Donald Trump in this year’s election campaign, citing his support for the police at a time when they are increasingly under attack, portrayed as racist thugs who are victimizing “peaceful” protesters, and whose funding should be slashed or eliminated.
The New York City Police Benevolent Association (PBA), representing 24,000 rank-and-file officers, the New Jersey state PBA, the Florida state PBA, the International Union of Police Associations and the National Union of Police Associations, which includes 100 police units and associations nationwide, have all endorsed the President. Speaking Aug. 14 at Trump’s Bedminster golf course in New Jersey, Pat Lynch, president of the New York City PBA, said that he didn’t remember the PBA ever endorsing a presidential candidate in his 36 years as a cop, but
“In the New York City PBA, Mr. President, you’ve earned this endorsement. I’m proud to give it.” He added that Trump’s support for the police was a needed counterweight to city and state officials who had bought into the “false narrative that New York City officers are evil.... Mr. President, we’re fighting for our lives out there. We don’t want this to spread to the rest of the country. We need your strong voice across the country to say we have the support of law enforcement across this country,”
Spectrum News NY1 reported him as saying.
Leaders of other state and national police associations expressed similar sentiments in their endorsements. John Kazanjian, president of Florida’s PBA, said in a July 31 op-ed published in South Florida Sun Sentinel, “the Florida PBA has not made an endorsement for President of the United States in eight years. But with the existential threats to the safety of our members, the future of our families, and the security of our communities, we cannot afford to sit on the sidelines. And neither can our fellow Americans. Let’s keep America safe, re-elect President Donald J. Trump.”
Lynch’s warning that “we’re fighting for our lives out there,” is borne out by the situation in Chicago, which in July, saw its “bloodiest month” in 28 years, with 105 alleged murders and 585 shootings, Chicago Sun-Times reported Aug. 17. Police officers today are retiring at twice the average rate, citing onerous conditions and lack of support from Mayor Lori Lightfoot. Normally the average rate for monthly retirements is 24, but in August, 59 officers will be retiring, and 51 in September. Anthony Beale, head of the city council’s police committee, reports that officers are just telling him, “I’m out of here.” John Cantazara, head of the city’s Fraternal Order of Police, told the Sun-Times, “Who wants to stay in this environment? If you have the ability to leave, there’s no incentive to stay anymore. The mayor doesn’t back us. If you have the financial ability, I don’t blame a single soul for leaving.” Beale pointed to a shortage of officers and to people working double and triple shifts. It’s only a matter of time before people become “burned out,” he warned.