In remarks delivered during the annual National Peace Officers’ Memorial Service at the the U.S. Capitol Building in Washington this morning, President Donald Trump called for the death penalty for criminals who kill police officers, particularly in view of ambush attacks that have occurred across the country.
“We believe criminals who kill our police should get the death penalty — bring it forth,” the president said, CBS News reported, in a statement apparently directed at the U.S. Justice Department and Congress.
Trump emphasized law and order and his strong support for cops, border patrol agents, and other law enforcement officers when he campaigned for the White House.
The president and other dignitaries honored the nearly 200 officers who died in the line of duty last year at today’s ceremony. Commenting on the fallen officers, Trump told their younger family members that, “Your moms and dads were among the bravest Americans to ever live.”
While there is a federal death penalty on the books that applies in some egregious circumstances, most violent crime is committed within state borders and where federal law is uninvolved. State laws vary about imposing the death penalty, which has been abolished in some of those jurisdictions where it previously existed, and replaced by life imprisonment without parole for those convicted of first-degree murder.
Trump began his remarks by providing the attendees and those watching at home with an update on the condition of first lady Melania Trump, who is recuperating in the hospital from kidney surgery. The president said that she is doing fine and thanked the attending physicians at Walter Reed Medical Center for the care they rendered.
President Trump’s speech included honoring some of the fallen officers by name. A particular emotional moment occurred when, in an impromptu manner, he asked the family of the late NYPD Detective Miosotis Familia, including her 90-year-old mother, to come to the stage.
The NYPD officer who was with Det. Familia on patrol when she was shot and killed also spoke briefly.
“Familia was executed while sitting in an NYPD cop car by a mentally disturbed gunman with anti-cop views,” the Daily Caller recalled about the 12-year police veteran.
After the event, Trump was scheduled to meet with Capitol Hill lawmakers to discuss the status of the remaining initiatives on his 2018 legislative agenda, which perhaps may also include the death penalty for cop killers.
Watch President Trump’s entire speech at the 37th annual National Peace Officers’ Memorial service in the video embedded below.