PHOENIX: City Threatens To Sue Trump For Illegally Using Their Cops In Campaign Commercial [VIDEO]

NBC News reports:

Phoenix officials, infuriated over an ad for Donald Trump’s presidential campaign that includes city cops, fired off a letter Thursday demanding that the ad be taken down immediately.

The ad, titled “Movement,” portrays Trump meeting with a variety of people — including, for about one second, uniformed police officers at what appears to be an airport, with the word “Together” superimposed.

Phoenix City Attorney Brad Holm said in the letter that those cops are Phoenix police officers, who “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.”

Besides being a violation of federal and state laws governing copyright and intellectual property, Holm contended, the ad “unmistakably and wrongfully suggests that Phoenix and the officers support or endorse Mr. Trump’s campaign.”

“That is not the case,” he wrote. “Neither Phoenix nor the Police Department support or endorse any candidate for President of the United States or any other political office.”

  • PickyPecker
  • olandp

    Didn’t the Rolling Stones also tell him not to use their music? Didn’t seem to stop him though.

  • bkmn
    • SunsetGay

      Wow! That image cannot be unseen.

      • johncAtl

        That’s why there is alcohol. And it is Friday. And it is 5:00 somewhere. So start now.

      • Niblet58

        Trump wished he looked that good….

      • Acronym Jim

        Rudy’s going to be sooo pissed that Trump raided his vanity.

    • pj

      gentlemen prefer blonds

    • ShawnSwagger


    • StraightGrandmother

      I tweeted this out. I tweeted Martina Navratolova

      Interesting fact. Martina has retweeterd me numerous times so one day I get a private twitter message from her.
      She loves my icon and wants to use it for her Twitter Account. I was totally flattered as I had designed it myself as I could not find one like it on the internet.

      So me & Martina have the same Twitter Icon, mine that she is using, how cool is that?

      If Martina is on Twitter soon I bet she will re-tweet it.

  • BobSF_94117

    Who took the photos/videos and owns them?

    • Rambie

      If the city / police department and perhaps even the officers in question didn’t sign a release their images couldn’t be used.

      • abqdan

        That’s correct when photographed in a private area, like a private building etc, where you might have an ‘expectation of privacy’. If you are photographed in a public place, it’s legal to publish that picture. Otherwise, every member of a crowd in a report – even about a riot – would have to sign a release. If the officers had actually been campaigning for him, that would be different, but that shot is just a meet and greet in a public place. No law has been broken.

        • Rambie

          Thanks for the clarification.

        • Mikey

          the issue isn’t that of publishing their pictures.
          the issue is one of using those pictures in campaign publicity giving the erroneous impression of support by a particular group (in this case the police department).

          it is perfectly legal to photograph police officers at a public event.

          the issue here is not that.

          it’s the Trump campaign using those images within their campaign videos, and THAT is what is not legal.

    • Mikey

      again, it is not the photographer or videographer who owns the rights to using these images in a POLITICAL advertisement. the specific case here is that these are governmental employees, while on duty, wearing their uniforms, being used in a political advertisement. THAT is illegal.
      As private citizens, individually, the police officers can support whoever they wish.
      However, they cannot do so while representing the supposedly politically neutral department for which they work.

      • BobSF_94117

        It’s illegal for public employees to appear in a campaign ad willingly or intentionally while wearing their uniforms. I don’t think filming them in public and using that video is illegal. The attorney is ranting about intellectual property rights… I think it’s just bluster.

        • IamM

          Probably matters whether they or the department are identifiable.

  • samcollins

    What’s this??? Phoenix on the right side for once?? Did hell freeze over?

  • johncAtl

    I wonder where they got the idea to use “TOGETHER.”

  • Sam_Handwich

    the most recent AZ poll, NBC/Marist, from first week of Sept,
    T 40
    C 38
    J 12
    S 3

    two-way race, Trump +1

  • Lakeview Bob

    The thing that Donald Trump is most successful at is STUPID. Anyone want to add to that?

    • David L. Caster

      That and being a conman and crook.

      • Galvestonian

        … and a egotistical blovard bigot who clearly thinks women are tools to be used and abused.

        • David L. Caster

          That too.

  • Rebecca Gardner

    Fuckface Von Clownstick is having a very bad week and I am really enjoying it.

    • UnionGoon

      I’m GIDDY!! Lol!

  • Lazycrockett
    • Sam_Handwich

      Zeke Miller
      1 minute ago

      From Clinton staffer after @joshgerstein report on forthcoming Trump deposition vid: “i literally just jumped out of my chair”

    • johncAtl

      I assume the judge was Mexican.

  • Blake J Butler

    O/T: I thought my weekly meeting with Equality Texarkana would be my highlight of the week. Boy was i wrong. Trump’s Florida spokesperson resigns as campaign responds to allegations of Cuba payoffs.

  • BobSF_94117

    The article doesn’t say, but it looks like his campaign filled him meeting officers in public. Unless someone else actually filmed it and doesn’t want the video used, they’re out of luck.

    • Mikey

      it’s a bit more complicated than that.
      the officers were on duty and wearing their uniforms.
      they aren’t the ones who hold the “permission slips” so to speak. The police department and the city are the ones who get to say who can and who cannot film and or use their likeness.

      • BobSF_94117

        The ACLU certainly doesn’t agree with you:

        I thought there was a recent SCOTUS ruling… don’t have time to look. There was this:

        Maybe that’s the case I’m thinking about. Don’t know, gotta go 🙂

        • Mikey

          again, you are arguing the wrong thing.
          no one is saying that filming or photographing police officers while on duty is illegal.

          The issue is of the Trump campaign using those images within its publicity / campaign ads.

          just how difficult is that distinction to make?

          • BobSF_94117

            I can find no law limiting how a campaign can use photos or videos of public employees for campaign literature when those images are taken in public.

            I CAN find plenty of restrictions on the employees and their conscious participation in political campaigns (including photos) in uniform.

            I understand what you’re arguing, but I can’t find any support for it.

      • abqdan

        No, that’s not how the law stands. If they were campaigning for him, that would be a different issue. It’s perfectly legal to film and distribute footage of a ‘meet and greet’. The media do it all the time at campaign stops, where politicians appear shaking hands with police, fire fighters, soldiers – the lawsuit is nonsense.

        • bambinoitaliano

          Not at all. The media still have to be held accountable for the image related to the news report. They can’t use Phoenix police officers image to report on a different city police say where there is police shooting. It’s a misrepresentation of the Phoenix police department. Political campaign is the same because it represents a bias political leaning. Police are public servants, they are not elected and should not represent a particular party.

          • abqdan

            Both Clinton and Trump have appeared in media reports with police, firefighters, soldiers at campaign stops… and that’s OK. It isn’t OK for the people in uniform to actively campaign for the candidate. That video just shows him pressing the flesh at a campaign stop, just like Clinton does. Let’s not try to make a drama out of something that is very, very common.

          • Mikey

            “media reports” is different from a campaign ad.
            how difficult is that concept to grasp?

    • The_Wretched

      Apparent endorsement is different from Scène à faire.

  • Bill Post

    Just like all the other laws, rules and so forth Trump and his minions have broken… I have not heard of any repercussions. Maybe no one has been this flagrant with the rules before and possibly the people in charge may not know what to do because I really can’t keep up. Either way Trump will be laughing all the way to the bank because it does nothing but help his brand.

    • RoFaWh

      Perhaps the issue is that it’s difficult to pin the rap on a mere electoral campaign. Who would be on the nut for paying the fines?

  • Viod Null

    They used to be listed on this links page, and the San Francisco police are still listed here…

  • ByronK

    Well, his campaign certainly qualifies as a “movement” – just not in the way he intended.

    • Rex

      Very reminiscent of the movement I have every morning.

  • Nic Peterson


  • Stubenville

    What a surprise. And Pat Toomey is still running commercials in the Philly media market claiming he’s endorsed by Gabby Giffords. Except Ms. Giffords has not endorsed him and asked the Toomey campaign over a week ago to immediately stop running the ads. Republicans have a real problem with boundaries, don’t they?

    • bob

      I just saw one and was figured it was a lie !

    • Herald

      What boundaries, those and laws and common decency do not apply to Repubs – especially trump. So they think anyway!

  • abqdan

    I sympathize – I wouldn’t want to be in a Trump ad either. And it’s intended to be misleading of course. But they’re SOL on copyright and IP – there is no expectation of privacy if you are filmed in a public place, and you don’t have any recourse in law. I dealt with this for a long time with photos taken of events where the event was in a public place. So – doubt they’ll get very far with that. On the other hand, every distraction Trump has to deal with is a Good Thing.

    • Xuuths

      IP attorneys may disagree with you.

    • EdA

      And the piece of trump makes up trump all the time.

  • Todd Allis

    O/T: I heard this in a video clip. Reading it in text is much worse.

    • ShawnSwagger

      As somebody else on JMG has mentioned, he is best experienced in print.

    • Uncle Mark

      This reminds me…why did Trump feel the need to include his 10 year-old crotch fruit into this discussion? Was this an opportunity to brag about his kid, while talking about ISIL and cyber-security? Is his son battling ISIL online? OR do they keep having to take his computer away from him because he keeps watching ISIL recruitment videos when he’s not finding nude pictures of his mom online?

      • RoFaWh

        If Drumpf had an ingrown toe nail and it became public knowledge, he’d start boasting about it. The best ingrown toe nail, the very best.

    • David Walker

      I feel a little better having read this. My word salad does tend to have complete sentences. And I try to have made a point by paragraph’s end. Of course, this was spoken, not written, but how can a business guy talk like this and not know it?

  • kevin vincent

    Keep in mind Phoenix is largely REPUBLICAN (I live there it’s actually great) Trump just pisssd of a lot of REPUBLICANS! where is lead is extremely spotty

  • ShawnSwagger

    He’ll just use the donations to his “charity” to pay the fine. So go ahead and sue. It’ll be one less life-sized painting of Hair Furor.

  • jakeinlove

    Yay! It always pleasantly surprises me when things like this happen. We still can’t apologize enough for Jan Brewer.

  • NancyP

    Duh – that’s what model releases are for. There are handy phone apps that can produce releases, though most photographers will have a few empty forms kicking around in their bags.

  • JCF

    Sue Drumpf? Get in that LONG line…