President Donald Trump spoke at the Annual Peace Officers Memorial Service on Tuesday and called for the death penalty for criminals who killed police officers.
“We must end the attacks on our police and we must end them right now,” Trump said. “We believe criminals who kill our police should get the death penalty. Bring it forth.”
Trump spoke at the ceremony which memorialized 199 slain members of law enforcement, on Capitol Hill in Washington, DC as part of National Police Week.
He specifically recognized the family of slain New York City Police Officer Miosotis Familia, calling them up to the podium to give them hugs and shake their hands.
Familia was shot and killed in July 2017, specifically targeted for wearing the police uniform in New York City by a man who had anti-police rants on Facebook.
Her partner, Officer Vincent Maher, gave Trump a challenge coin from his precinct and offered a tribute to his slain partner.
Maher said that despite getting injured, she volunteered to return to patrol one of the roughest areas of New York City.
“She may have been lost that night but she saved a lot of lives in return, because of her memory and everything that transpired after the fact,” he said.
Trump hugged Familia’s 90-year-old mother Adrianna Valoy.
“You’re representing something very important,” Trump said, praising the family. “She loved the department.”
He acknowledged that it was a painful day for families who lost loved ones but urged them to know the love that the nation had for them.
“We will never forget our heroes ever,” Trump said.
He shared a personal message to young children who lost their parents.
“I want you to know that your moms and dads were among the bravest Americans to ever live. When danger came, when darkness fell, when destruction loomed they did not flinch, they were not afraid, they did not falter,” Trump said.
Trump recalled the stories of Officer Charles Hartfield who was killed while he responded to the Las Vegas shooting at a country concert in October.
“He gave his life so that so many others could live,” Trump said.
Trump also paid tribute to Rogelio Martinez, a border patrol agent who was killed in Texas in November 2017. He called for more tough action against criminal gangs and drug dealers.
“We don’t want it any longer, we’ve had it. Enough is enough,” Trump said.
He explained that his administration had their own version of a “catch and release” program for illegal immigrants.
“It’s called we catch them and we release them in the country they came from,” Trump said as the audience applauded. “We’re getting them out or we’re putting them in prison.”
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