Make America Great Again hats were given to Donald Trump’s police motorcade contingent in San Antonio, Texas on October 11. After he tweeted their sea of red hats while in uniform, the administration of the SAPD has stated they will punish the officers for wearing them, regardless of how long they had the hats on their heads.
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) October 11, 2016
Firestorm over a hat
First, the police chief, William McManus, responded:
“The officers wearing the campaign hats while in uniform violated SAPD policy and will be disciplined appropriately. SAPD officers are charged with protecting the entire community. The officers displayed poor judgment. I expect them to know better than to give the appearance of endorsing a candidate while on duty and in uniform, regardless of the political campaign or the candidate.”
Then the Mayor of San Antonio, Ivy Taylor, complained:
“I am deeply disappointed by some of our SAPD officers’ lack of judgement. While on duty, police must be above politics with an obligation to serve everyone equally. Everything they do should send that message and today’s actions did not.”
Then the police association president, Michelle Helle, released a statement
“At the conclusion of Mr. Trump’s visit to San Antonio, several police officers conducting escort duty were photographed wearing campaign hats at the airport. SAPOA historically does not make federal political endorsements. Dignitaries and celebrities often visit San Antonio and treat our police officers with great kindness, respect, and courtesy. Frankly, the officers were most likely caught up in the moment and did not consider the political nature of their actions.”
To be clear, no police agency in the United States is allowed to participate in political activities while in uniform – it’s a huge no-no. In this case they will likely be reprimanded for wearing the hats. The reason is that both parties, all sorts of people require the presence of police officers for events. Wearing the hat lends “color” to the situation and gives a specific impression that can damage the neutrality of the force.
To be fair, the Trump campaign probably handed them out to all of the officers as a thank you for escorting the motorcade. The “lack of judgment” stated by all the city officials and police association is not true. The officers did their jobs and did them well. In the video, you can see the officers removing those hats at the conclusion of the event.
Donald Trump has been openly pro-police and against those who murder them.