WASHINGTON — President Donald Trump said his administration supports the death penalty for criminals who murder police officers.
“We believe criminals who kill our police should get the death penalty,” Trump said in a speech at the 37th annual National Peace Officer’s Memorial Service, which was held on the West Front of the U.S. Capitol on Tuesday. “Bring it forth.”
Trump’s contention coincides with his campaign pledge to crack down on violent crime.
During the campaign Trump blasted the Obama administration for having cast blame on police in the aftermath of some fatal shootings of unarmed suspects. Civil rights groups that said many of the shootings were unnecessary and that police often use excessive force with African-American and Latino suspects. Conservatives say subjecting police to additional scrutiny has helped foster anti-police sentiment.
Trump said his administration has provided unprecedented support to local police departments.
“We are allowing local police to access the surplus military equipment they need to protect our officers and law enforcement agents and save their lives,” he said. “And they are taking equipment at a record clip.”
Cracking down on illegal immigration is vital to reducing crime, the president said.
“We are calling on Congress to secure our borders. Support our border agents. Stop sanctuary cities and shutdown policies that release violent criminals back into our communities,” he said.
Trump is scheduled to the attend the weekly Senate GOP policy luncheon this afternoon. The administration’s request for border wall funding is expected to be among the topics discussed in the closed-door meeting.
The president has urged lawmakers to skip the traditional August recess if funding is not secured by that time.