Crime

Police Union Officials Meet With Trump

| by Robert Fowler

Nine high-ranking members of the Fraternal Order of Police met with President Donald Trump to discuss violent crime in U.S. cities.

Following their discussion, the police union officials praised the president's receptiveness to their concerns.

On Mar. 28, nine FOP officials gathered in the nation's capitol to meet with Trump, Vice President Mike Pence and Attorney General Jeff Sessions to discuss law enforcement issues including violence directed at police officers, opioid addiction and urban crime.

"In too many of our communities, violent crime is on the rise," Trump said during the meeting, according to The Washington Times. "Sadly, our police are often prevented from doing their jobs. These are the painful realities too many in Washington don't want to talk about."

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The president singled out Chicago, a city that he has previously suggested bolstering with federal law enforcement.

"There's no excuse for it," Trump said of the Windy City, adding "all of our citizens have the right to live every day in safety and peace."

After the meeting, the nine FOP officials expressed their approval of Trump's approach to law enforcement.

"It's just a real pleasure to have a president in the White House who cares about law enforcement's concerns," said FOP national president Chuck Canterbury, according to the Washington Examiner.

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The FOP had been supporters of Trump's candidacy in the presidential election. In September 2016, the national police union endorsed the then-GOP nominee, Politico reports.

"[Trump] understands and supports our priorities and our members believe he will make America safe again," Canterbury said at the time.

In December, the FOP released a wish list for Trump's law enforcement priorities before he assumed office. The police union suggested the Trump administration halt the implementation of a series of law enforcement reforms proposed by the administration of former President Barack Obama and to reverse a prohibition on racial profiling installed by the George W. Bush administration, according to the FOP's official website.

On April 3, Sessions ordered that the U.S. Department of Justice review all reform agreements previously struck between its civil rights division and local police departments. The reform agreements had been prompted by a series of high-profile police shootings of unarmed citizens and federal investigations that uncovered civil rights abuses, The Washington Post reports.

DOJ officials asserted the review would determine whether the reform agreements would conflict with Trump's pledge to enforce "law and order."

"The Department is working to ensure that those initiatives effectively dovetail with robust enforcement of federal laws designed to preserve and protect civil rights," the DOJ said in a statement.

Jonathan Smith, executive director of the Washington Lawyers' Committee for Civil Rights and Urban Affairs blasted Sessions' decision, asserting that it could prevent police departments across the country from reforming their law enforcement practices.

"This raises the question of whether, under the current attorney general, the Department of Justice is going to walk away from its obligation to ensure that law enforcement across the country is following the Constitution," Smith said.

Sources: National Fraternal Order of PolicePoliticoWashington Examiner, The Washington PostThe Washington Times / Photo Credit: Gage Skidmore/Flickr

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