Police union chief with ties to Trump makes racist and misogynist comments about Democratic leaders, jokes about accepting sexual favors for officers
- The director of a police union in Massachusetts with ties to the Trump administration posted several misogynist and racist comments about Democratic leaders on his personal Facebook account.
- In one such post, executive director Jerry Flynn described Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez of New York as a "bar fly stripper."
- Flynn's Facebook account and posts became restricted by Tuesday afternoon.
- When reached for comment, Flynn said the Democratic leaders were "talking about racists all the time" and alleged "they're racist towards police officers."
- Visit Business Insider's homepage for more stories.
The director of a police union in Massachusetts with ties to the Trump administration posted several misogynist and racist comments about Democratic leaders on his personal social media account, such as referring to Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez of New York as a "bar fly stripper."
New England Police Benevolent Association (NEPBA) executive director Jerry Flynn posted several photoshopped memes of Democratic lawmakers, in addition to making offensive comments that echo some of President Donald Trump's talking points and personal attacks.
In a Facebook post in August, Flynn said former first lady Michelle Obama was perpetuating racism as evidenced by "'her people' … killing each other by the dozens" in Chicago, her hometown. Gun violence has claimed 592 lives as of Oct. 5 and most of the victims are young Black men, according to the Chicago Tribune.
In a separate post the next month, Flynn described Sen. Kamala Harris of California — the Democratic vice presidential nominee and a former California attorney general — as a "racist pig" and "lunatic" who was "out of her ever living f—— mind."
In addition to the incendiary comments, Flynn, a retired police officer, casually joked about accepting sexual favors for law enforcement officers. After linking to a dubious blog about how some officers in New York could potentially receive "sexual gratuities" while on duty, Flynn commented, "Are they taking lateral transfers? Asking for a few dozen friends!"
Flynn's Facebook account and posts became restricted by Tuesday afternoon. When reached for comment, Flynn did not dispute he'd made these comments. He said these Democratic leaders were "talking about racists all the time" and alleged "they're racist towards police officers."
"People who are anti-police, anti-law enforcement — we don't just endorse people simply because they have a 'D' at the end of their name," Flynn told Insider, adding that NEPBA has endorsed Democratic state lawmakers in the past. "We endorse people because they're supportive of us and our initiatives."
But NEPBA has endorsed a slew of Republican candidates running for US Congress this year, including attorney Bryant "Corky" Messner, and former State Department advisor Matt Mowers — both of whom received endorsements from Trump.
Before characterizing Insider's questions as part of a "slanted one-sided piece" and ending the call, Flynn noted that all of NEPBA's endorsements are made after a vetting process in which a candidate had to meet with the executive board in person.
"Those who don't come, they don't get endorsed," Flynn said.
Indeed, NEPBA endorsed Trump's candidacy in 2015, shortly after the Republican candidate met with its leaders and promised to sign an executive order that would make killing a police officer a capital offense. Vice President Mike Pence also met with NEPBA's leaders this year and accepted the union's endorsement on Trump's behalf in February.
"Police lives, all lives matter as far as I'm concerned," Flynn said in 2015, according to Boston Magazine. "And I'm telling you right now what we endorsed a candidate who best serves our membership. He said tonight that he would be for the death penalty, the federal death penalty for the killing of a police officer, corrections officer in the line of duty, and that's what my members wanted to hear."
Nearly five years later, Trump has yet to sign such an executive order.
Former Vice President Joe Biden and Harris have denounced violence but expressed solidarity with protests of police brutality, saying systemic racism is to blame.
NEPBA's endorsement and credentials have been questioned by other police officials. Portsmouth Police Commission chairman Joe Onosko criticized the endorsement of Trump in an opinion column published in February, calling it "very disappointing" that the union "decided to again take sides in our highly divisive and potentially combustible national politics."
"As a police commissioner for our city since 2015, I've come to know many of the officers and I bet no more than half are Trump supporters," Onosko wrote to local news outlet Seacoastonline.com. "For the rest of the police unions in the country, please remain true to your oath and impartial with the public you've been hired to serve: do not endorse a candidate for president."
The endorsement has also split police unions, including NEPBA's own chapters, who urged its members to remain apolitical and refrain from endorsing any candidate. The University of Massachusetts Amherst Police Department's chapter of NEPBA previously told MassLive it was blindsided by the move.
"I was given the impression that there would be multiple candidates in attendance and was looking forward to hearing each of them speak," NEPBA Local-190 president Ted Bonnayer reportedly said after the union's meeting with Trump in 2015. "I was also led to believe that there would not be any vote to endorse any candidate at this event. As you well know Mr. Trump was the only one in attendance that night."
While outspoken police unions are not unusual, Trump's tendency to advertise their endorsements and wield it as a political weapon is striking. During the first presidential debate in September, Trump boasted he had the support of "almost every law enforcement group in the United States" and taunted Biden by alleging "he has no law enforcement support."
"Who do you have? Name one group that supports you," Trump asked Biden.
Although Trump has received the endorsement of the Fraternal Order of Police, the largest police union in the US, Biden has also obtained his own support from a handful of current and former police officials who allege "Trump failed to protect America."
"It's ironic that a lawless president claims to be the 'law and order' president," Noble Wray, the retired police chief of the Madison Police Department in Wisconsin, said in a statement, according to Fox News. "We are at a crossroads with this nation, and we need a president that has always prioritized the safety of Americans and their families."
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