by Cherri Gregg
PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — Donald Trump has caused a divide among Philadelphia Police officers. The Guardian Civic League, a group started by black officers, is speaking out against the National FOP’s endorsement of Trump.
“Our question to the national is– did you consider your membership, really?” asked Rochelle Bilal, president of the 60-year-old Guardian Civic League.
She says the group’s members began calling immediately after the National Fraternal Order of Police announced Friday it was throwing its support behind Republican Donald Trump for president.
“We cannot accept it,” she says, “I’m calling all members nationally of the Fraternal Order of Police to denounce that endorsement.”
FOP President John McNesby declined to comment for this story, but he did speak about the National FOP endorsement this week on CBS Radio’s 1210 WPHT with host Dom Giordano:
“We are bound by the national FOP endorsement, and that’s the way we are going,” he told Giordano.
As for why, McNesby says Hillary Clinton campaign refused to fill out an FOP survey. He says the Trump campaign did the work and McNesby and other FOP reps met with the candidate.
“She basically– she disregarded and blew the police off,” he says, “you can’t go in and expect to get respect when you didn’t give it to us.”
Bilal says the local should have stayed out of it.
“You don’t have to fall in line,” she says, “at some point you have a very diverse membership here.”
Now Bilal says the Guardian Civic League, which includes more than 2000 members, is taking action to formally denounce the FOP’s endorsement.
“Because they got in it, we’re in it,” she says.
The group is calling for its members to send letters to the FOP. She also says the group may vote to issue its own endorsement.
“We are suggesting that they support the agenda of Hillary Clinton,” she says.
The group will hold a press conference Friday at 11 a.m. at their headquarters.