“I have 36 years in this job, 21 as a president of this fine organization. I cannot remember when we’ve ever endorsed for the office of president of the United States until now. That’s how important this is,” said Patrick Lynch, the president of the Police Benevolent Association of the City of New York (PBA).
“Mr. President, we are fighting for our lives out there. We don’t want this to spread to the rest of this country,” Lynch added. “Now, many times people say that a union like ours, law enforcement group, gives endorsements. Not in the New York City PBA, sir. In the New York City PBA, Mr. President, you earn the endorsement and you’ve earned this endorsement. I’m proud to give it.”
The PBA represents 24,000 of the NYPD’s 36,000 officers.
The endorsement came as far-left groups around the country have ramped up efforts to defund police departments and demonize law enforcement.
In New York City, far-left Mayor Bill de Blasio has cut police funding by $282 million for fiscal years 2020 and 2021.
The mayor signed a law in July criminalizing several safe, nonviolent martial arts techniques used by police around the country and the world to subdue resisting subjects. Police officers will thus have to resort to other methods that are often more violent and put both the officers and the people they attempt to arrest in greater danger, some experts say.
“We’re going to give you back your status,” Trump said at the endorsement event in New York City. “I hate to say it but it’s been taken away.”
“We’re gonna give New York a real shot,” Trump said. “I think we have a real chance of winning New York.”
The endorsement came as a wave of crime and violence unseen since the crack epidemic of the 1990s engulfs the city. More than 320 people were shot in the four weeks ending July 19, up more than 200 percent from the same period last year. Murder is up 24 percent this year compared to last year.
The demonization of police nationwide is driven by the Black Lives Matter movement and a battery of horizontally organized Antifa extremist groups.
The recent unrest was triggered by the police-custody death of George Floyd. Trump has said what happened to Floyd was terrible, but placed the blame on a few “bad apples” while defending police forces across the country as essential for preserving law and order.
“You’re going to have a bad apple, but it may be just a bad apple,” Trump said on Friday. “But that doesn’t mean we’re going to close up our police departments.”
The PBA has previously endorsed candidates in races for local races, including billionaire Mike Bloomberg for mayor of New York City and Andrew Cuomo for governor.
Trump’s presumptive Democratic opponent, former vice president Joe Biden, has racked up a long list of endorsements, but none from a major law enforcement group. The National Association of Police Organizations endorsed Trump in July after endorsing the Obama-Biden ticket in 2008 and 2012.
The Biden campaign did not respond to a request for comment.
Petr Svab contributed to this report.