The Donald Trump New And Improved Shackle-Free Tour swung through San Antonio, TX, on Tuesday, and local police had a surprise for the GOP nominee. A contingent of officers who were assigned to escort the candidate showed up at the airport wearing red Make America Great Again hats for a round of tarmac selfies with Trump. Video of the occasion ended up on Trump's Twitter account.
Needless to say, a lot of people were very disturbed by the image of a dozen cops wearing two badges: that of police officer and that of Donald Trump supporter.
@COSAGOV so embarrassed that my home town would ever support such a racist disgusting human being. Smh at the San Antonio police dept.
— Jess Delgado (@JESSDELGADO) October 12, 2016
No one is surprised to see a group of police officers supporting Trump. The Fraternal Order of Police has signed off on the candidate and one of his earliest endorsements back in 2015 came from the New England Police Benevolent Association.
That doesn't make it less disappointing to see men (no women officers are in the video Trump uploaded) who have sworn to uphold the law equally proudly supporting a candidate who does not feel the same. And that's before you get to his thoughts on sexual assault.
San Antonio's top police officials seem to agree. Chief William McManus issued a statement last night saying that the police officers used poor judgment in wearing the hats and will be disciplined accordingly.
Most police departments do have rules similar to San Diego's around appearing to endorse a candidate or wearing some sign of political affiliation while in uniform. Beyond the simple fact that it's intimidating, it's traditionally been a bad sign for a democratic society when the police force begins to take a political side.