President Trump honored fallen police officers from across the country at a memorial service Wednesday in Washington, D.C.
“Today, in the heart of our nation’s capital, we come together to pay tribute to the American Peace Officers who made supreme sacrifice, all in the line of duty, in many cases for people they never met, for people they didn’t know,” Trump said. “To all of the families of our fallen officers: Our whole country is praying for you, embracing you, and pledging to you that we will never, ever leave your side, never disappoint you. Your loved ones were extraordinary and selfless Americans who gave everything they had in defense of our communities, our children, and our nation.”
The courage & sacrifice of our heroes is the reason our flag stands tall, our hearts beat with pride, and our Country remains one people, one family, and one NATION UNDER GOD. Today, we thank you, we honor you, & we forever cherish the memory of our Fallen Men and Women in Blue! pic.twitter.com/ARHYgDVi3M— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) May 15, 2019
“These brave heroes did not put on the uniform for praise or for glory,” Trump added. “They wore the badge because it was their duty, their calling, their noble purpose to serve, protect like nobody has ever done it before. They embodied our highest ideals and greatest aspirations. They were the very best of us.”
Trump denounced the verbal attacks and life-threatening risk police officers face on a daily basis, while renewing his calls for those convicted of killing police officers to receive the death penalty.
“In the year before I took office, the number of officers killed in ambushes rose to the highest level in nearly 30 years,” Trump said. “In the last two years, thankfully, the number of officers killed in ambushes has decreased by more than 70 percent.”
He called for the swift execution of those convicted of killing police officers should receive the death penalty, a comment he has made during the 2016 campaign, as well as during last year’s National Peace Officers’ memorial event.
“The ambushes and attacks on our police must end, and they must end right now,” Trump said. “We believe that criminals who murder police officers should immediately, with trial, get the death penalty — but quickly. The trial should go fast.”
Chuck Canterbury, the National President of the Fraternal Order of the Police, recently called on lawmakers to do more to protect law enforcement, saying: “Our men and women in blue are no longer seen as peace officers who are there to serve and protect, instead we’ve become targets of scorn and disrespect.”
Canterbury says Congress needs to pass the “Protect and Serve Act” — which would impose federal penalties on those who target law enforcement officers. He hopes it could mean fewer fallen officers to mourn at future memorial services.
During his remarks Trump highlighted the story of Cpl. Ronil Singh of the Newman Police Department, who was killed by an illegal immigrant during a traffic stop before Christmas and invited Singh’s brother and wife onto the stage.
“Here with us today is the family of California Police Officer Ronil Singh,” Trump said. “Ronil came to this country legally in 2003 with the dream of earning the badge of an American police officer. On Christmas night, he took a picture in front of the family Christmas tree with his beautiful wife, their beloved son, and Sam, their loyal police dog.”
Trump suggested Singh’s death could have been prevented with stricter immigration laws.
“Corporal Singh headed out on duty — which he loved — to protect and to serve. You all know the story. Because hours later, he was gunned down and killed during a simple traffic stop,” Trump said. “He was a vicious killer, this man that crossed into our country from the border just a little while before. A vicious killer that could’ve been kept out with border security, with the wall, with whatever the hell it takes.”
Trump added, “We’ll always remember Corporal Singh as a hero and a truly great American. Not one more American life should be lost because our lawmakers failed to secure our borders. Tremendous problems are caused at the southern border — from drugs, to the wrong people being allowed to come in because of a corrupt and broken system.”
Singh’s widow, Anamika Singh and brother, Reggie Singh thanks the president for reaching out to their family after the shooting.
“This man over here, the Singh family supports him,” Reggie Singh said. “Whatever he is doing for the law enforcement, we support him. His team at the White House has reached out to us multiple times. Multiple times. I don’t think that ever happened before. Ever. This man is amazing, and my family supports him.”
“I actually want to thank you personally for—you’re the only one that actually reached out and said, gave your condolence to the family,” Anamkia Singh said. “And it actually means a lot to all of our law enforcement families that are here. For the sacrifice my husband and his brothers in blue, in blue, have given. So I want to thank you for that.”
Trump’s appearance Wednesday was his third at the annual event, which honors law enforcement officers who have died in the line of duty.
“To every mom and dad, brother and sister, spouse and child of the brave fallen officers we honor today, America joins together in expressing our love and our gratitude, our grief, and our firm resolve to be with you every single step of the way,” Trump said. “The men and women of law enforcement devote their lives to protecting our children, securing our streets, and keeping our communities safe. Moms and dads can sleep soundly at night, kids can play with neighbors outside, and grandparents can feel at peace in their homes because they know America’s officers are the absolute best and they’re always on the beat.”
“Today, we thank you, we honor you, and we forever cherish the memory of our fallen men and women in blue. You are very special people. There are nobody like you. Nobody,” Trump concluded. “God bless you. God bless our law enforcement. God bless the fallen.”
May 15 marks Peace Officers Memorial Day, by a resolution under then-President John F. Kennedy. The 38th annual memorial service honored 228 officers across the nation were killed in the line of duty last year. So far in 2019, more than 40 law enforcement officers have died in the line of duty in the U.S.
Police Week draws thousands of police officers from around the country to the capital. The weeklong series of events includes memorial services and a candlelight vigil, a 5K race, a conference for the families of fallen officers, and an honor guard competition, among other events.