City officials in Phoenix, Arizona sent a cease-and-desist letter on Thursday demanding that Donald Trump’s campaign pull an ad that they say wrongly suggests the city’s police support the Republican nominee.
In a letter obtained by NBC, Phoenix City Attorney Brad Holm said the uniformed officers featured in Trump’s ad “Movement” “were unaware that they were photographed and videotaped, and they did not consent to the use of their on-duty images in any Trump (or other) campaign advertisement.”
The ad features a still image of Trump shaking hands with police officers on what appears to be an airport tarmac superimposed with the word “together.”
Holm said in the letter that the advertisement was a violation of copyright and intellectual property law, and also “unmistakably and wrongfully suggests that Phoenix and the officers support or endorse Mr. Trump’s campaign,” according to NBC.
“That is not the case,” Holm reportedly continued. “Neither Phoenix nor the Police Department support or endorse any candidate for President of the United States or any other political office.”
Trump has declared himself the “law and order” candidate and met with police unions and immigration officials across the country. He has received endorsements from the National Border Patrol Council, which represents around 16,500 immigration officers, as well as the Fraternal Order of Police, which represents some 330,000 police officers.
Yet individual officers are not permitted to appear in campaign literature or ads. The federal Hatch Act of 1939 prevents a wide swath of local, state and federal employees from engaging in political activity while on duty or wearing an official uniform.
The Trump campaign did not respond to NBC’s request for comment.