The New York Veteran Police Association (NYVPA) endorsed Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump days before the Empire State holds its presidential primary.
NYVPA, which calls itself the oldest police association in the United States according to its Facebook page, made the announcement in Staten Island April 17.
Lou Telano, the group's president, told the crowd that Trump “represents the American way,” according to Breitbart, and praised the candidate's hardline stance on immigration.
“Immigration is important to us because for many years we have been arresting illegal immigrants committing rape, robbery and murder,” Telano said, without specifying any crimes or statistics, reported the New York Daily News.
Trump accepted the endorsement in front of a large crowd at the Hilton Garden Inn.
“The owner of the hotel came up to me and said that this is the biggest crowd he’s ever had at the hotel,” Trump said.
Not everyone was impressed with the endorsement.
“Of course the NYVPA would endorse Trump, both are racists,” wrote a commenter on the NYVPA's Facebook page.
Also, a protester attended the event but was quickly escorted from the premises, according to Breitbart.
Trump is widely expected to win the New York primary. Several polls have him leading Republican Sen. Ted Cruz of Texas and Republican Gov. John Kasich of Ohio by large margins.
Trump was born and raised in New York City and owns a great deal of property there.