Newspaper article The Christian Science Monitor

Why Did Phoenix Send Donald Trump a Cease-and-Desist Letter over Ad?

Newspaper article The Christian Science Monitor

Why Did Phoenix Send Donald Trump a Cease-and-Desist Letter over Ad?

Article excerpt

The Phoenix city attorney sent a cease-and-desist letter to Donald Trump's campaign, insisting the Republican presidential candidate must pull a 30-second television ad because it shows him shaking hands with a group of the city's on-duty police officers.

The officers, who are featured in a clip about one second long, did not know they were being filmed and do not have permission to endorse any political candidate while on duty, Brad Holm wrote in the letter Thursday.

"In this context, the ad unmistakably and wrongfully suggests that Phoenix and the officers support or endorse Mr. Trump's campaign. That is not the case," Mr. Holm wrote, noting that the city and its police department do not endorse candidates for president or any other public office.

Trump has been endorsed by the Fraternal Order of Police, which represents some 330,000 officers nationwide, but the police in his video belong to a different union, the Phoenix Law Enforcement Association, which is part of the National Association of Police Organizations.

Neither the local nor the national union organization, which represents more than 241,000 officers, has endorsed a presidential candidate, Ken Crane, president of the Phoenix chapter, told The Arizona Republic.

City policies prohibit employees from making endorsements while on duty, wearing a uniform, or on city property, but they allow endorsements while employees are on their own time and out of uniform, the Republic reports.

While it may prove difficult to stop the Trump campaign's use of the video before Election Day, Mr. Crane said the city's letter was likely intended to discourage other campaigns, including Democratic candidate Hillary Clinton, from following Trump's lead.

"They're trying to cover themselves, if you will," Crane said. "Quite frankly, I think they would do the same thing if Clinton's campaign was doing that, or at least they should. …

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