The Franklin County Democratic Party has decided that the local Fraternal Order of Police does not need to endorse any of its candidates.
Party Chairman Michael Sexton informed the FOP Capital City Lodge #9 of the decision in a letter, available on the Democratic chapter’s Facebook page here from a Friday post.
Today, Chairman Michael Sexton informed FOP leadership of the recommendation that our 2020 Democratic candidates do not screen for the endorsement of FOP Capital City Lodge #9. All 34 of our Endorsed Democratic candidates have decided not to screen this year. We encourage FOP Lodge #9 to join our community in the fight against racism.
Sexton’s letter was in response to a May 8 letter from Jeff Simpson, chairman of the FOP’s political screening committee, saying they were preparing for the 2020 election screening process. Sexton listed several reasons for the rejection.
However, because of a pattern of the FOP overwhelmingly endorsing Republicans for the last several years, multiple votes of no confidence by the FOP towards our elected officials, and your own words on social media stating an unfounded, untruthful allegation towards our Congresswoman, party leadership has recommended that our 2020 Democratic candidates do not screen with FOP Lodge #9.
Sexton also calls on the FOP to support the party’s Resolution 2021-01, titled “To Affirm and Declare the Anti-Racist Principals of Franklin County Democratic Party.” He said similar resolutions were approved by the Franklin County Board of Commissioners and Columbus City Council, and have been introduced in the Ohio Senate and Ohio House of Representatives.
The Columbus City Council recently declared racism to be a “public health crisis.”
Columbus-area police are in the midst of a difficult relationship with local Democrats.
Columbus Mayor Andrew Ginther said he and the City Council were taking action to require the Ohio Bureau of Criminal Investigation to look into all instances of police-involved deaths, WBNS reported.
Ginther is a Democrat.
Keith Ferrell, the FOP lodge’s president, addressed the matter on Facebook here.
The negative characterization that the Mayor painted this department with yesterday was unfair and wrong. Now is not the time to play political games and divide our community. Officers across the country are outraged with what we saw on video in Minnesota. We understand, respect, and support peaceful protest; however, property destruction should not be tolerated. Every business owner and law-abiding citizen should be appalled by what this City has allowed and continues to allow to happen in Columbus. As officers, we have a duty to the public to stop the senseless destruction of property. Destruction that further damages our community, a community which is already hurting economically and socially. However, officers feel as if their hands are being tied by the Mayor and his administration. There is no reason rioters should be permitted to destroy and loot business. The Fraternal Order of Police needs your support to stop the riots and encourage peaceful protests which we all support.
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Jason M. Reynolds has more than 20 years’ experience as a journalist at outlets of all sizes.