President Donald Trump on Friday called on cops across the U.S. to “fight back” against protesters and vowed to protect officers who use violence against demonstrators.
“They should be able to fight back,” Trump said during a speech on Friday evening, as he attended a mini-rally at the Trump National Golf Club in Bedminster, New Jersey.
Members of the New York City Police Benevolent Association (NYCPBA), the largest police union representing officers from the NYPD, were reportedly in attendance as he made the comments.
Trump began his speech by citing a number of incidents where police have been attacked by members of the public, getting riled up about an incident that took place in July last year, long before the nationwide protests sparked by George Floyd‘s killing at the hands of police, using it as an example as to why police officers should always be able to ‘fight back’.
“I don’t want to embarrass anybody,” Trump started, “but one of the saddest things, Rudy [Giuliani], I’ve ever seen was when they were dumping water on the heads of two of your fellow officers and I wish they fought back.”
The incident he was referencing saw two NYPD officers drenched with buckets of water as they dispersed crowds during a heatwave. At least one suspect involved in the incident was later arrested and charged.
“I promise nothing would’ve happened to them. Because who even knows that was water, it could have been plenty of other things. But it could’ve been some very dangerous material, not water, Trump said, according to Newsweek.
“And they didn’t fight back, first time I’ve ever seen that,” he continued. I wish they did, I wish they did. I wish I could have talked to them, I say fight back, I swear you will be protected.”
The police officers in attendance, both active and retired, then burst into a round of applause.
These comments are in spite of the fact that the president has repeatedly threatened “protesters, anarchists, agitators, looters or lowlifes” with prison time, calling them “terrorists” and often taking an aggressive approach with them.
It should be noted that protesters are simply fighting against racial inequality and for a better life for the Black community.
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