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One of the largest police unions in Michigan endorses Trump, saying the President’s opposition to defunding police is why he gets their support

July 27, 2020

On Thursday, the Police Officers Association of Michigan (POAM) released a statement about why they are endorsing Donald Trump for re-election. The statement reads

The men and women of the Police Officers Association of Michigan are proud to endorse the re-election of Donald J. Trump as President of the United States. Unlike most elections, where political opponents share many opinions and goals, this presidential election presents two very different candidates.

President Trump restored the sharing of surplus military equipment and tools to our members. This has saved lives. His opponent currently, and while vice president, opposed this. President Trump has announced that he would veto HB7120 which would limit qualified immunity for police officers. His opponent supports this bill. President Trump opposes any form of “defunding” or “re-imaging” police. His opponent has made this his goal. President Trump considers the United States an “exceptional country” while his opponent promises to “transform” the country.

President Trump never fails to recognize our homeland’s security personnel at home and abroad. He supports the police while the previous administration preferred to insult them or to find them guilty without due process. Our officers are under attack and are being told to “stand down.” At a time when civic leaders are choosing to tolerate televised felonies because a group of people is “offended,” we need real leadership. The Police Officers Association of Michigan and its members support the re-election of President Trump.

The endorsement of Trump from the POAM is instructive, since it acknowledges some major issues that is receiving significant public attention, such as:

  • Surplus Military equipment that local police department use
  • Qualified Immunity for police
  • Defunding police departments

In addition, with the endorsement of Trump, the POAM shows their contempt for people who are protesting and dismantling symbols of White Supremacy, like statues. The POAM endorsement takes issue with this by say, “ At a time when civic leaders are choosing to tolerate televised felonies because a group of people is “offended,” we need real leadership.” Lets be clear that what the Police Officers Association of Michigan says people in this statement, they mean Black people and when they say “offended,” we should take that as nothing more than their contempt towards Black people who take issue with statues that honor White Supremacists or police behavior that is rooted in White Supremacy.

This endorsement by the POAM should make it clear that not only are police unions reactionary, they take offense at being scrutinized by the public. This endorsement should also signal to the public that police unions are far right entities and should be treated as such.

We have written about the response from the Grand Rapids Police Officers Association on the issue of defunding the police and this endorsement letter demonstrates that larger unions across the state also object to calls for defunding or simply greater accountability. 

The Police Officers Association of Michigan has dozens of police departments across the state included in their association. The GRPD is independent, but there are several West Michigan police agencies that are listed as part of the POAM, such as the East Grand Rapids Public Safety Officers Association, Grand Valley State University Command Officers Association, Grand Valley State University Public Safety Officers Association, Ionia City Public Safety Officers Association, Ionia County Command Officers Association, Ionia County Command Officers Association (Non-312), Ionia County Corrections Officers Association, Ionia County Deputy Sheriffs Association, Kent County Courts Union Association, Kent County Law Enforcement Officers Association, Walker Command Officers Association, Walker Police Officers Association and the Zeeland Police Officers Association.

This list of West Michigan police departments, which are members of the POAM, also endorse the re-election of Donald Trump, which means they not only oppose defunding, the oppose any real kind of community accountability and they endorse the recent decision by the Trump administration to use federal officers to arrests people who are part of the larger Black Lives Matter movement that has erupted since the police lynching of George Floyd in late May.

Lastly, it should be noted that the Police Officers Association of Michigan also contributes to Michigan candidates, which is documented in a recent article by the Michigan Campaign Finance Network

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