Trump renews calls for those convicted of police killings to get the death penalty

Trump renews calls for those convicted of police killings to get the death penalty
© The White House

President TrumpDonald John TrumpGOP divided over impeachment trial strategy Official testifies that Bolton had 'one-on-one meeting' with Trump over Ukraine aid Louisiana governor wins re-election MORE on Wednesday renewed his calls for those convicted of killing police officers to receive the death penalty.

Speaking at the National Peace Officers' Memorial Service at the Capitol, Trump denounced "anti-police rhetoric" and pledged to support law enforcement at the border and in local communities.

"The ambushes and attacks on our police must end, and they must end right now," Trump said to applause. "We believe that criminals who murder police officers should immediately, but with trial, get the death penalty. But quickly. The trial should go fast. It’s got to be fair, but it’s got to go fast."

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Trump first suggested those convicted of killing police officers should receive the death penalty during the 2016 campaign, and did so again during last year's National Peace Officers' memorial event.

He noted Wednesday that the number of officers killed in ambushes hit a nearly 30-year high during his first year in office, but has gone down sharply in the two years since.

The president welcomed to the stage the family of Ronil Singh, a Newman, Calif., police officer who was shot and killed late last year during a traffic stop by a man suspected to be in the U.S. illegally.

Trump suggested Singh's death could have been prevented with stricter immigration laws, referring to the suspect as "a vicious killer that could’ve been kept out with border security, with the wall, with whatever the hell it takes."

Singh's family praised the president and thanked him for offering condolences at the time of Singh's death.

Trump invoked the southern border again later in his speech, calling for an end to sanctuary cities and the diversity visa lottery program. The president's latest calls for Congress to enact reforms came a day after White House officials met with GOP senators to present the administration's latest immigration proposal.