San Antonio Police Officers Face Discipline for Trump Hats
The San Antonio Police Department plan to punish more than twelve police officers for wearing Donald Trump's "Make America Great Again" caps in a video Trump tweeted out yesterday.
The video shows Trump standing with a group of uniformed police officers on the tarmac at San Antonio international Airport, with at least 14 of the officers wearing the hats.
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) October 11, 2016
The issue at hand wasn't the officers' candidate of choice, it was that they chose to endorse a candidate while in uniform, giving the appearance of an organized statement from the department. The city forbids public employees to partake in political activity on the job.
"I expect them to know better than to give the appearance of endorsing a candidate while on duty and in uniform," San Antonio Police Chief William McManus said, according to The Washington Post. "Regardless of the political campaign or the candidate."
San Antonio Mayor Ivy Taylor took to Twitter to voice her disappointment.
— Ivy R Taylor (@IvyRTaylor) October 12, 2016
The officers were part of a motorcycle unit that escorts politicians and other high-ranking people while visiting San Antonio. Yesterday, they escorted Trump's motorcade to and from the airport.
Mike Helle, president of the San Antonio Police Officers Association, said he was surprised that the uniformed officers donned the hats, but doesn't expect excessive punishment.
"It seems kind of benign," he told The Washington Post. "They'd probably get a written reprimand or counseling to not do that sort of thing on duty."
However, the Fraternal Order of Police, a group that represents 325,000 law enforcement officers in the U.S., officially endorsed Trump for president, claiming that he "understands and supports our priorities."
A similar thing happened last month in Phoenix, as Trump stood on an airport tarmac with uniformed police officers. Phoenix City Attorney sent the campaign a cease-and-desist letter.
"The officers depicted in the ad were in uniform precisely because they were on duty performing work for Phoenix at the time," the letter said, according to AZ Central. "In this context, the ad unmistakably and wrongfully suggests that Phoenix and the officers support or endorse Mr. Trump's campaign."