One of the largest national police unions in the country declared its support for President Donald Trump’s plan to deploy federal agents in the wake of violent unrest and a spike in crime across major metropolitan areas.
Sam Cabral, the president of the International Union of Police Associations (IUPA), wrote that the AFL-CIO-affiliate union “absolutely” supports Trump’s plan to “protect the people of this country that includes the deployment of Federal Law Enforcement Officers to those cities and states, some of whom … have abdicated their primary responsibility to protect their citizens.”
Cabral also pilloried the mayors of Seattle, Atlanta, Portland, and Chicago of capitulating following a wave of anti-police protests sparked by the death of George Floyd in Minneapolis.
“I wish the best for those unfortunate souls that live under such mob rule, but until and unless it comes to their neighborhood, this reality is simply an academic exercise for the politically ineffective officials living far removed from these ‘sanctioned protesters’ who are actively engaged in rioting, looting, and unabated lawlessness,” he said in a news release on Friday.
Trump signaled his intention to deploy federal agents earlier this week in an announcement at the White House, making “law and order” a pillar of his reelection campaign. It follows weeks of protests in major cities across the country, a number of which have devolved into violence, arson, looting, and the vandalism of public property while activists publicly called for dismantling their respective police departments.
At the same time, shootings have spiked in Chicago, Philadelphia, New York, and other major cities in recent weeks.
Trump’s plan to send officers drew rebuke from high-ranking Democrats, including House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.), who last week alleged the administration was sending in “unidentified stormtroopers” in “unmarked cars” to Portland to kidnap protesters.
In the protests, Portland demonstrators frequently surrounded the federal Mark O. Hatfield U.S. Courthouse. Authorities said individuals tried to set the building on fire and smashed its windows.
Customs and Border Protection Commissioner Mark Morgan, in defense of his agency’s presence and tactics in Portland, told reporters this week that it’s standard practice.
“I’ve been in law enforcement for almost three decades, the use of unmarked vehicles is a standard procedure, standard practice among every local, state and federal law enforcement agency in this country … actually in the world,” Morgan said. “It’s nothing new.”
Previously, the IUPA endorsed Trump’s reelection campaign in 2019, saying he has bolstered law enforcement, while the National Association of Police Organizations endorsed Trump on July 15.
NAPO President Michael McHale wrote in a letter at the time that the president’s support is needed “during this time of unfair and inaccurate opprobrium being directed at our members by so many.”
“We particularly value your directing the Attorney General to aggressively prosecute those who attack our officers,” McHale wrote in a letter.