Members of law enforcement have mixed emotions about events at Capitol, President Trump’s involvement
Police unions across the country, including the top one in New Jersey, endorsed President Donald Trump for re-election. But for some police officers, the attack on the Capitol last week shows that policing and politics don’t mix.
Many in law enforcement are now forced to reconcile what happened at the Capitol with the self-described “law and order President,” – the same person accused of inciting the deadly riot. Five people, including a Capitol police officer, died following the event, leaving even Trump’s allies horrified.
“They should be arrested. They should be prosecuted and they should go to jail for a long, long time,” says Lt. Steven Rogers.
Rogers was a Nutley police officer for 40 years and served in the Navy. He campaigned for Trump and is still an ardent supporter, even after the attack. While he was troubled by the events last week, he stopped short of blaming the president for inciting a riot.
“I don’t want to get into a discussion regarding the blame game, but I would say we’re all to blame,” Rogers says.
He says that the riot was the boiling point for grassroots America fed up with career politicians.
For many in law enforcement, their support for President Trump is linked to the Black Lives Matter movement and calls to defund police. Union leaders in endorsing the president said that he had their back.
But other officers call it a charade.
“And for people to buy into that charade was kind of disheartening,” says Jiles Ship, the president of the New Jersey chapter of National Organization of Black Law Enforcement Executives (NOBLE).
Ship says that he can’t name a single thing that Trump has done for local policing.
There are some concerns that some Capitol police officers put politics over duty. Reports say that one officer is under arrest, two suspended and several others under investigation for misconduct during the riot. Ship says that it could have lasting consequences.
"The people we serve that we took an oath to serve see us as the most unbiased form of government," says Ship.
He says it's critical for trust and that's why his organization focuses on policy instead of endorsements.
News 12 New Jersey reached out to two of New Jersey's largest police unions for comment, but did not hear back.