The city of Phoenix has sent a cease-and-desist letter to the Donald Trump campaign demanding the campaign and its cohorts remove an ad that has begun airing in which Trump featured Phoenix police officers without their consent.
City attorney Brad Holm wrote, “Phoenix has not approved –- and will not approve -– the creation or use of any media bearing the faces and likeness of its on-duty police officers in any political advertisement for any political candidate. The officers 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 officers depicted in the ad were in uniform precisely because they were on duty performing work for Phoenix at the time.”
The Trump ad, titled “Movement,” shows Phoenix police officers around Trump as he shakes hands with one of them.
“In this context, the ad unmistakably and wrongfully suggests that Phoenix and the officers support or endorse Mr. Trump’s campaign. That is not the case.”
Cease-and-desist letter from the city of Phoenix
Holm added that the city of Phoenix owns the copyright over their uniforms, badges, insignia and all other imagery of official city materials and on-duty employees. He pointed out, “In this context, the ad unmistakably and wrongfully suggests that Phoenix and the officers support or endorse Mr. Trump’s campaign. That is not the case. The Phoenix City Manager has authorized me to pursue all legal remedies necessary to stop the Trump campaign from using the City’s intellectual property … Phoenix does not allow any person, entity, or political campaign to appropriate or otherwise use its protected materials or replicas for any private purpose such as a campaign ad.”