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National Association of Police Organizations endorses Trump

The National Association of Police Officers, a lobbying group that says it represents more than 241,000 officers nationwide, endorsed President Trump for a second term on Wednesday. This comes after the association had supported Mr. Trump's challenger, Joe Biden, in the 2008 and 2012 elections.

"Our endorsement recognizes your steadfast and very public support for our men and women on the front lines, especially during this time of unfair and inaccurate opprobrium being directed at our members by so many," the group's president, Michael McHale, wrote in a letter sent to Mr. Trump. 

McHale added, "We particularly value your directing the Attorney General to aggressively prosecute those who attack our officers." He also cited Mr. Trump's support for legislation backing law enforcement and first responders, and his "unflagging recognition that America's law enforcement officers, just like any other citizens, have Constitutional rights, too."

The letter makes no reference to Mr. Biden, the presumptive Democratic nominee. The association did not endorse a candidate in 2016.

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McHale told Fox News that more than two-thirds of the members who participated in a virtual meeting chose to endorse Mr. Trump.

"We anticipate and hopefully have another four years," McHale said.

The National Association of Police Officers has spent $160,000 a year on lobbying every year between 2008 and 2019, according to Open Secrets. It has spent $40,000 so far in 2020. This includes lobbying efforts aimed at the White House and the Department of Justice.

In 2017, the first year of Mr. Trump's presidency, the association lobbied for a bill that would make migrants associated with criminal gangs "inadmissible, deportable, and ineligible for various forms of relief." The proposal died in a Senate committee.

Mr. Trump has staked much of his reelection campaign on support for law enforcement, after a nationwide protest movement demanding reforms to policing in the wake of George Floyd's death in Minneapolis. He has often said that his campaign is about "law and order," echoing a slogan from former President Richard Nixon that was widely perceived to have racial subtext.

The president hosted a roundtable discussion with law enforcement officials at the White House this week. Last month, he signed an executive order to boost training and information sharing for police departments. Advocates said it fell well short of protesters' calls for systemic reform and an acknowledgment of racial bias in policing. 

Biden has expressed support for policing reforms, but said he does not endorse the calls to "defund the police" that have come from the more progressive wing of the Democratic Party. Mr. Trump has wrongly claimed several times that Biden supports defunding. 

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