AP NEWS

Trump urges death penalty after ‘fair but fast’ trials for cop killers

May 15, 2019

President Trump on Wednesday said people convicted of ambushing and killing police officers should get the death penalty after a quick trial.

“It’s got to be fair, but it’s got to go fast,” Mr. Trump said at a ceremony for fallen officers at the U.S. Capitol. “That’s happening. Fair, but fast, right?”

Mr. Trump bemoaned light penalties that big-city prosecutors have given violent criminals, said his U.S.-Mexico border wall will keep out criminals and slammed those who file false police reports an oblique reference to Jussie Smollett, the “Empire” actor accused by Chicago police of staging the highly publicized attack he reported in January.

Mr. Trump said his administration condemns anti-police rhetoric, while arguing the majority of Americans fully support law enforcement.

“More than you would ever know, more than you would frankly ever think possible,” Mr. Trump said at the 38th Annual National Peace Officers’ Memorial Service.

The ceremony honors law enforcement officers who were killed in the line of duty.

A large crowd of officers and their families attended, along with House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer, Attorney General William P. Barr and several other members of Mr. Trump’s Cabinet.

Mr. Trump used the occasion to highlight his tough line on immigration, saying officers face danger because other countries do not send “their finest” into the U.S.

And while police officer-involved shootings have dominated the news in recent years, leading to calls for better training, Mr. Trump focused on the risks officers face on patrol.

In a dramatic moment, Mr. Trump called the family of Ronil Singh a California police officer killed during a traffic stop in December onto the stage. His widow and brother thanked Mr. Trump for reaching out, personally.

Police say the man accused of killing Singh was an illegal immigrant from Mexico who had sneaked into the U.S. via the border in Arizona.

Mr. Trump told stories of individual bravery and recognized the families of more than 80 officers who in recent years died from exposure to toxic debris following the terror attacks of Sept. 11, 2001.

“The job they did was incredible,” Mr. Trump said.

The president offered his keynote speech after Chuck Canterbury, national president of the Fraternal Order of Police, said it’s harder than ever to be a police officer, saying they’ve become the targets of “scorn and disrespect.”

“Mr. President, you have never wavered in your support,” he said.