Remarks by President Trump in a Meeting with the National Association of Police Organizations Leadership

Cabinet Room

11:54 A.M. EDT

THE PRESIDENT: I’m pleased to welcome the leaders and friends of mine, in many cases, of the National Association of Police Organizations. We have some of the great, great police representatives in the country here. Maybe the best, I would say, Pat. What do you think?

MR. LYNCH: I’d have to agree, Mr. President.

THE PRESIDENT: Representing more than 240,000 of our nation’s courageous police officers.

I want to thank the Association president, a friend of mine, Mick McHale —

MR. MCHALE: Thank you, Mr. President.

THE PRESIDENT: — Mick McHale, who was — has been tremendous, who I call on occasionally to say, “What the hell is happening” in a certain location. And he gives me the advice. And I was very honored to receive the endorsement. That was a great endorsement, and we very much appreciate it, Mick.

The entire leadership team is here today representing large portions. What would you say the percentage of police in the country are represented in this room? A big portion?

MR. MCHALE: Yes. Yeah.

THE PRESIDENT: We have a big — a very big portion. And I appreciate it.

Also, I want to thank our Vice President, Mike Pence. He’s been very involved in a lot of issues. But this issue is one of his very important ones, I think we can say, Mike. Right?

THE VICE PRESIDENT: Thank you, Mr. President.

THE PRESIDENT: We’re here to discuss the unwavering support of our nation’s courageous police officers and our determination to defend the safety of all Americans. I just spoke on Portland. I just spoke with Chad Wolf, who’s doing a fantastic job at Homeland. And the courthouse is totally secure; it has been, ever since we’ve been there. We had to move in about a week and a half ago because they were going to take down the federal courthouse. This is not even believable. You know, you tell these stories, and it’s not even believable.

Homeland Security moved a team of very talented people — strong, tough people. And the courthouse has been in very good shape. They’re not an offensive team; they’re a defensive team. They’re not allowed to be offensive, unfortunately. And you had radical anarchists. You had horrible people. You had agitators. They weren’t protesters. They might have been protesters, but the ones that were the problem were absolute anarchists and, in many cases, professionals.

So a lot of people have been arrested, and we’ve told — we’ve told the mayor and the we told the governor, “You better get in there and do your thing.” And they finally, after — they should have done this 60 days ago. A lot of people have been hurt. A lot of law enforcement people have been hurt. And they should’ve done this 60 days ago. So now they freed up the park, cleaned out the park, and they’re moving their way. And if they have any other problems, we’re going to take very strong offensive force.

Nothing started because the federal government was there. In fact, if we weren’t there, you would not have a courthouse right now. You know, they — the media, some of the media — not all of it, but some of it, they are saying that because the federal government walked in, they became worse. No, because the federal government walked in, we saved the U.S. courthouse, the federal courthouse, which is a — was a magnificent — it will be shortly, but, you know, there’s graffiti all over it and everything else. That’s why we moved in, because the local police were not protecting federal property.

So Homeland Security has done a fantastic job. I appreciate it. Chad Wolf and the entire team have been fantastic. And it seems to be cleaning up. And if it doesn’t clean up, we’re going to do something very, very powerful, because we have no choice. Not that I want to do it; I don’t want to do it. But we have no choice.

In recent weeks, law enforcement has become the target of a dangerous assault by the radical left. The leftwing extremists have spread mayhem throughout the streets of different cities, in particular, Portland. If you look, Portland is one. Seattle, really, would be another.

And we were getting ready to go into Seattle. We would have solved that problem very quickly. When they heard that we were going in, they went in. And by that time, the anarchists were exhausted and they just raised their hand. They were exhausted and tired, and they had a lot of drugs and a lot of alcohol, and they just gave up. They just raised their hands. They were sleeping there long enough. They took over, actually, a piece of Seattle, if you can believe that — Seattle being a major city. And they took over a piece.

So we were ready to go into Seattle; everyone knows that. We were going to go in with force, and we didn’t have to because, the day before, we were going in — and we let them know. The day before we were going in, this is what happens: They went in, and the anarchists and agitators gave up, and they gave it back.

Joe Biden has pledged to cut police funding — and you do know about that, Mick, I assume. Right?

MR. MCHALE: I do, sir. Yes.

THE PRESIDENT: You’ve heard that little rumor?

This guy has been dragged so far left. Biden has been taken further left than Bernie ever was. Bernie was never this. I mean, totally open borders, and the sanctuary city stuff that — he’s approving things that Bernie never thought of. It was supposed to be, they were going to take him right. They took Biden way left of where Bernie was because they have the manifesto. I don’t know, have you seen the manifesto they’ve got?

MR. MCHALE: Yes, sir.

THE PRESIDENT: Now I understand they can’t get any police in Milwaukee because you’re not allowed to use pepper spray or tear gas because — if you have crowds. But I don’t think there’s any other way other than obvious way, which would be horrible. And that’s shooting itself, which would be horrible. But I don’t know how you can control a crowd if the crowd if — if that crowd is anything like what you have at Portland, there’s no way you could possibly do it without tear gas and pepper spray.

Pat, would you say that’s a correct statement?

MR. LYNCH: I agree. You have to control the streets. You have to do it fairly, but you have to do it.

THE PRESIDENT: It’s pretty amazing, right? So you have no police that want to go to Portland because they know they can’t do their job. You have to give them the equipment to do their job. It’s incredible. They’re not going to go to Milwaukee.

So what’s going to happen in Milwaukee, Mick? What do you think?

MR. MCHALE: Well, I think that they’re going to have the mass exodus that we’re seeing in other parts of the country. And, again, sir, it’s the exposure of these men and women who continue to suit up and provide the safety that they took an oath to. And we want to, as an association — but we speak for all law enforcement — in thanking you personally for your executive order, which allowed us to surplus equipment. That equipment is saving our lives, literally, sir. And we thank you. We thank you from — from all of us.

THE PRESIDENT: Thank you, Mick. No, that was very controversial, and the previous administration didn’t want to do that.

We had hundreds of millions of dollars’ worth of equipment — really good military equipment, good stuff. And a lot of it was protective. It was defensive equipment, where — like, vehicles that are very strong in terms of defense capability, where you wouldn’t get hurt; where the windows are, you know, shatterproof, et cetera, and bulletproof.

And we gave that out to our police departments. It was sitting there gaining dust. That was the only thing it was gaining, was dust. And we gave that out to all of our police departments all over the country. And you have no idea: Every place — every time I go someplace, the police thank me for that.

MR. MCHALE: Yes, sir.

THE PRESIDENT: This is stuff that was just getting less and less valuable. Much of it was brand new, but getting less and less valuable, sitting in warehouses. Probably the government was paying a lot of rent to the warehouses. And, yeah, it’s — it’s been a great — it’s been a great thing.

So as a result of the outrageous attacks on law enforcement, violent crime has surged in certain Democrat-run cities. Many of them. I mean, you look at New York: It’s up 348 percent. Who ever heard of a number like that? Because you have a radical-left mayor who doesn’t know what he’s doing. He doesn’t know what he’s doing. I don’t understand even how the police could allow it to happen. That’s the only thing. We talk about that.

But you look at Chicago: In Chicago, more than 2,200 people have been shot. Okay? Think of that: shot. Now, that’s far worse than Afghanistan. We are leaving Afghanistan fairly shortly. But we see things that — in Chicago and other places that you don’t see in Afghanistan. It’s unbelievable.

Forty percent increase from 2019. And the hard thing is that crime is down nationwide. So I’m taking all of these Democrat-run cities and we’re putting them in with the well-run cities and Republican — largely Republican-run cities and states. And with all of this shooting that you see in Chicago and New York and — well, Minneapolis had a bad period, but we sent in the National Guard. The National Guard did a fantastic job, and they stopped it.

That place would’ve burned down. Minneapolis would’ve burned down if I didn’t force the National Guard into that. And you saw them form, right? It’s a beautiful thing. All of a sudden, you see a line of people. They walked through it like a knife through butter. And that was the end of the problem in Minneapolis. So, you know, we have to do that.

But in New York City, nearly 300 people have been shot in the last month alone. Murders are up 32 percent in Philadelphia and 80 percent in Minneapolis, compared to last year. Minneapolis, great place too. And Philadelphia, think of it — I went to school in Philadelphia. Look at — if you look at these numbers.

In cities across the nation, we’ve also seen police officers assaulted with bricks, rocks, bats, Molotov cocktails, frozen bottles of water. Somebody said last night, one of the protesters — I saw it — he said, “It’s only water. How can water hurt you?” Yeah, they don’t say it’s frozen, in a bottle the size of a football. And they throw it at the police. It’s unbelievable. “It’s water.”

And then they have cans of soup. Soup. And they throw the cans of soup. That’s better than a brick because you can’t throw a brick; it’s too heavy. But a can of soup, you can really put some power into that, right?

MR. MCHALE: Yes, sir.

THE PRESIDENT: And then, when they get caught, they say, “No, this is soup for my family.” They’re so innocent. “This is soup for my family.” It’s incredible. And you have people coming over with bags of soup — big bags of soup. And they lay it on the ground, and the anarchists take it and they start throwing it at our cops, at our police. And if it hits you, that’s worse than a brick because that’s got force. It’s the perfect size. It’s, like, made perfect.

And when they get caught, they say, “No, this is just soup for my family.” And then the media says, “This is just soup. These people are very, very innocent. They’re innocent people. These are just protesters. Isn’t it wonderful to allow protesting?” No, there’s — and, by the way, the media knows it better than we do. They know what’s going on. I don’t know what’s wrong with them. They’re doing our country a tremendous disservice — I’ll say that.

But in cities all across our nation, we’ve seen our police officers so badly assaulted. In Portland and the other cities, my administration is vigorously defending federal property from anarchists and criminals. We’ve also launched Operation LeGend, surging federal law enforcement to communities plagued by violent crime.

And we’re willing to help Chicago. We’re willing to help New York. We’re willing to help Philadelphia. Any — any city you want. But, by law, unless we go a special route — which we have the right to do, but it’s very rarely done — we have to be asked by the local government, by the mayors and by the governors. And they don’t want to do it, I think, for two reasons. Number one, they’re embarrassed to do it. And number two, I actually think they’re afraid of these people, if you want to know the truth. I actually think these are radical-left maniacs.

And I actually think, Pat — I think they’re afraid of these people. I think they’re afraid of those people that I see in Portland and, to a lesser extent, that I’ve seen in Seattle. I mean, the Portland is a tougher group. You know, they’ve been doing that for years to Portland. They’ve been doing it for years and years to Portland. And then the police stepped down, and — I don’t believe it’s the police’s fault; they’re not allowed to do it. They’re good police but — and they can do it. Let’s see how they do tonight, over the next — last night, that was a big step. But let’s see how they do.

So it’s an honor to have the associations here. We have been with them. I’ve had endorsements from so many — so many police. And I don’t even say “thank you” anymore. I say, “What’s your choice?” Your choice is me or somebody that has no clue what they’re doing. And I say that kiddingly, but I sort of mean it. Right? I sort of mean it.

So our relationship with law enforcement has been outstanding — and with firefighters. I mean, you have firefighters that go to put out a fire, and people are shooting at them. They’re literally shooting at them as they’re putting out the fire. Guys are going up on ladders, and people shoot at them. But we have great support from firefighters. Usually just the top one or two people don’t support us, you know, because they’re used to something else. But every — everybody in there, we have tremendous support from the police, the firefighters, and almost — almost every group of people that are associated with the things that we’re doing. We’re doing really well.

But I want to thank you all very much. From the bottom of my heart, I appreciate those endorsements. We really do. It’s really great. And you will never be let down with me. I have tremendous respect for what you do. It’s dangerous. It — it pays not as well as they could do elsewhere. Many of the people — but they’re discouraged. Many of the people, they do it, they love it. Right? They love it. Nothing they’d rather do. This is what they want to do. But it’s a very dangerous profession. And we are going to toughen it up a lot because the mayors and the governors aren’t allowing you to do your job. And you got to be allowed to do your job.

When you see the things that we’ve seen in St. Louis — and, by the way, if you look at the last administration, with Ferguson and all of the problems they’ve had — I mean, they had some problems that are doozies. You know, people said, “Oh, the last administration…” They had — that’s what started a lot of this. If you look at some of the things that they had, I could name 10 of them right now.

But we have to strengthen up because you’re being told to do things that you know can’t happen. In Seattle, they’re being — they’re reducing the force by massive numbers. In Portland, they’re reducing their force. Can you imagine that? In Portland, they’re reducing their force by massive numbers. But then the governor, like in Oregon — the governor said things that are just unbelievable. She doesn’t want it to get better. The mayor of Seattle, the things that she said: “We’re going to have a summer of love.” There’s something going on that is crazy.

Remember this, though: Most of our cities are doing really, really well. And despite the pandemic — and we’re doing a good job on that. We have vaccines that are really getting close. We have therapeutics that are really getting close. But despite all of that, these cities are doing very well. And law enforcement is at an all-time good. So most of it is good. We only talk about the bad, but most of it is good.

Pat, would you like to say something in representing our New York’s Finest? And we’ll go around the room a little bit.

MR. LYNCH: We sure do. You know, in our city, we’re going through a difficult time. We have a progressive mayor that’s anti-police; the city council that’s anti-police; and the statehouse is anti-police. So they’re changing the law where it’s becoming impossible to do our job.

And remember what our job is: to keep folks safe. You do that by helping the good people, going after the bad people. You do that by helping the good people and going after the bad people. They’re stopping us from doing that.

So we come down here —

THE PRESIDENT: So if a mayor tells you you can’t do that, you cannot — your job is to keep people safe, right?

MR. LYNCH: That’s absolutely correct.

THE PRESIDENT: So is that a higher calling than listening to a mayor?

MR. LYNCH: Well, you know what? They’re the boss in our town, so we have to go by the rules they set. The problem is, the rules they are setting, the laws they are passing are making it impossible, because what happens then: We are criminally charged.

So we come here today, Mr. President, to ask for help, to have a discussion on what we need.

THE PRESIDENT: Do they actually charge you criminally?

MR. LYNCH: Yeah, they can charge us criminally. Yes, sir. It’s disgraceful. It’s like they reversed the world. It’s the upside-down world right now. And I have 36 years in the job. I’ve never seen it this bad, sir.

THE PRESIDENT: Never been anything like it. Hey, look, I lived in New York, and we never had a problem in New York. New York was — once Rudy — Rudy did a great job as a mayor, in all fairness, because before that — but I think this is worse than the Dinkins era now.

How do you compare this to the Dinkins era?

MR. LYNCH: It’s worse. You know, we had disturbances back during Mayor Dinkins’s time, but we had it in one neighborhood, possibly two. We had disturbances recently in three boroughs, sir. You know, we have neighborhoods where your father started that — where it’s going back to be crime-ridden. Into Manhattan, where you did so much building, it’s starting to go back to crime-ridden, where they looted in Midtown. So, obviously, there’s a problem.

THE PRESIDENT: And with Dinkins, if you go back to that period, everybody respected the police, and the police were allowed to do their job, in all fairness. It was never like we’re going to cut our police force. It was always, “We’re going to get more police,” in all fairness. And then Rudy came in and did a great job. So, you know, it’s one of those things.

I think you have to do what you have to do. I mean, you have to keep people safe. You have to keep people safe.

Go ahead, please.

MR. HOVSEPIAN: Mr. President, just, you know, the level of attacks that are going at us, going after our qualified immunity, going after our due process rights, it’s a complete assault on the people who are paid to protect the citizens. And if we can’t do our job — in Massachusetts, they want to file bills that will — we will not be able to put our hands on somebody unless we’re arresting them. So if we’re dealing with disorderly people, intoxicated people, people with mental health issues, trying to get them into an ambulance, get them to a hospital, we could be sued.

THE PRESIDENT: And you could be sued individually or as a force?

MR. HOVSEPIAN: Individually.

THE PRESIDENT: So are they taking immunity away from you?

MR. HOVSEPIAN: They’re trying to, very hard, Mr. President.

THE PRESIDENT: Yeah, that’s the next move. You know, they want to take immunity away from police so that if you do what you have to do, and you do it right, you can get sued. I mean, the whole thing is just crazy.

So you’re having a hard time in Massachusetts?

MR. HOVSEPIAN: Yes, Mr. President. We’re working very hard. The unions are sticking together, working very hard. And hopefully, we can curb some of this.

THE PRESIDENT: Is the governor trying to help?

MR. HOVSEPIAN: It hasn’t gotten to his desk yet, Mr. President, but we’re hoping that we’ve made some very solid arguments on all these issues where he can slow the process down. That’s the problem.

THE PRESIDENT: You guys have to stick together. You got to do what you’re doing. I mean, you can’t let it happen. You know exactly — for instance, when you have a problem in Massachusetts, are you allowed to use pepper spray?

MR. HOVSEPIAN: Yes, Mr. President.

THE PRESIDENT: You are. Do you think they’re going to end that? Are they thinking about that?

MR. HOVSEPIAN: That is one thing that have not gone after, Mr. President. But they are going after — they are going after our K-9s. They are going after the tear gas. And our K-9 officers —

THE PRESIDENT: How are the K-9s? Very effective, I would imagine.

MR. HOVSEPIAN: Yes, Mr. President. In multiple areas.

THE PRESIDENT: Yeah. Right. And they’re going to stop with the K-9s?

MR. HOVSEPIAN: They are trying to limit their use, Mr. President.

THE PRESIDENT: And how about you, my friend?

MR. COLLIGAN: We represent almost 33,000 law enforcement officers in the state of New Jersey. And, you know, I was talking this morning with these guys, and I said that the “Defund the Police” is already — the experiment is already proving how poorly it is throughout the country. In New Jersey, they’re talking about the new use of force policy with proportional force.

And my response is, if you want to see a fair fight, go to a wrestling match where 185, you know, fights 185. We — we want to end these — these resisting cases as quickly as possible. There’s nothing pretty about somebody resisting arrest. And if you’re going to use proportional force, it’s going to — that’s going to — you —

THE PRESIDENT: So what does that mean? That means you — you can’t put two on one? You can’t put three on one? What does that all mean? You mean, you have to have — you have to give the criminal a chance? Is that what that means?

MR. COLLIGAN: We have to fight fair, I think, to mit- — to place them under arrest. We have a nation- —

THE PRESIDENT: That’s on — that’s one I’ve never even heard of.

Have you heard of that one, John? That’s one —

MR. FLYNN: No, sir. (Laughter.)

MR. COLLIGAN: But, nationwide, you know, it’s — it’s proportional. It’s a use-of-force continuum. You can always extend, you can always go up in one level. And in New Jersey, the now — the discussion now is the proportional use of force, which, to me, is going to make us look worse on the street when (inaudible).

THE PRESIDENT: You know, what people don’t understand is that the people, the voters, are with you guys 100 percent. I’ll bet you if you looked, it would be really — I don’t want to say a number, because then they’ll say, “Oh, he was wrong on the number. The number is, you know, two points lower.” It would be tremendously — it’s a tremendous number. The people of our country love you guys. The people of our country want protection and they want safety. And what they’re doing is they’re just stripping. This radical-left movement is stripping you of everything. And we’re not going to let that happen.

How about you?

MS. EDMISTON: Well, I work for the National Association, so I work for all these gentlemen and all their issues.

THE PRESIDENT: So you see it all, right?

MS. EDMISTON: Yes. And I just want to say thank you for giving us a seat at the table.

THE PRESIDENT: Okay, here’s a question for you — so, you work for all: What do you think is the worst? Where is — where are they treated the worst? The police. Where are they treated the worst and where is the biggest onus of problem? In other words, who here at this table — and this is just a small group of what we have — what area is treated the worst? Is it New York? Is it Massachusetts? You just said — you just said something. Although, what I heard from New Jersey — I’m shocked, because I know those great troopers on the highway. They pulled me over on occasion for speeding. (Laughter.)

No, for speeding, I haven’t got one of them recently. (Laughter.) I’d get pulled over and I’d look at those guys, I’d say, “That guy, I’m not going to mess with that guy.” (Laughter.)

But who do you think is — what area is treated the worst, meaning they’ve taken their power away?

MS. EDMISTON: Well, I don’t think there’s just one area. We’ve been hearing from our membership across the country about various attempts to handcuff cops and their ability to do their job. I just think it depends on the area and what policies people are trying to push. I think cops across the country are having a very difficult time doing their job with very little public support. Obviously, the — most of Americans —

THE PRESIDENT: Well, you have really the public support, but it’s sort of —

MS. EDMISTON: Right.

THE PRESIDENT: — a silent majority that we’re talk- —

MS. EDMISTON: Yes.

THE PRESIDENT: But it’s not a silent majority, it’s a massive majority. It’s not anything about —

MS. EDMISTON: Right.

THE PRESIDENT: The word “majority” is not a good enough word. You have tremendous public support. And these people feel they have to do this — the politicians — in order to stay relevant in this far-left movement.

John, what would you say about that? What — who would you say is treated the worst in terms of areas?

MR. KAZANJIAN: I’d say him.

THE PRESIDENT: New York?

MR. KAZANJIAN: Yes. Yeah, listening to Pat yesterday, he had —

THE PRESIDENT: One of — one of the worst, Pat. It can’t be much more than that.

MR. LYNCH: Yeah, it’s — it’s getting worse by the day. Each morning, you wake up; first, you get a text on the number of shootings and deaths you had the night before. Sir, you remember when you were building in Manhattan and crime was out of control. We’re back to 1993 numbers. Who thought we’d be back there? In South Jamaica, the numbers have gone crazy. When we turned the city around — now it’s starting to slide back. I’m worried about the slide, sir. But the slide is going to continue.

THE PRESIDENT: And you could solve that rather quickly if they gave you your power back, right?

MR. LYNCH: We’ve proved it. We’ve done it. We want to do it again.

THE PRESIDENT: Yeah, no, it’s easy. It’s a very — it’s very — I mean, for you guys — that’s what you want to do.

MR. LYNCH: Absolutely, that’s our job. And remember —

THE PRESIDENT: This is hard; what you’re doing now is hard.

MR. LYNCH: This is hard. And what folks in our city hall forget that, you know, we’re police officers — we have a shield on our chest — but we’re also citizens. We’re also in the church, synagogue, or mosque. We’re also at the same street corner dropping our children off, going to the same schools. We’re in the cham- — same shopping malls, the same grocery stores. So we’re a part of the community, and they’re trying to cut us out.

THE PRESIDENT: But I remember two years ago, three years ago, when the police didn’t respect the mayor — that never changed, in all fairness — but they would literally turn their back on the mayor. And he was really working hard to get them on his side. And now it’s almost though — as though it’s just the opposite. And why is that?

MR. LYNCH: You know what? It takes more than words. You can read from a script that your actions — you can say you support police, but then pass laws that hurt us, so we know it’s not true.

If you remember, when we turned our back on — on the mayor at the time, we had just had two police officers assassinated. What folks don’t understand is we went to city hall and begged that they stop the rhetoric. We said, “Someone is going to get hurt.” You know what happened? It was worse. They got killed: Ramos and Liu were assassinated in our favorite borough of Brooklyn. You know, so, it was a serious time, but it’s gotten more serious since then, sir.

THE PRESIDENT: And do you see it turning around? Do you see it going back where —

MR. LYNCH: I —

THE PRESIDENT: — the politicians are going to get smart, because —

MR. LYNCH: I think —

THE PRESIDENT: — the numbers will get bad. And —

MR. LYNCH: Yeah, so the communities have to realize that it’s not just rhetoric; it’s really their blood on the streets that’s happening. And, as I said, the numbers are going back to 1990s in shootings. So I think that’s when — when it visits your kitchen table —

THE PRESIDENT: But the communities like the police. The communities want protection.

MR. LYNCH: They love the police. In our most difficult neighborhoods, the community — the person sitting on the stoop, the person owning the bodega, is the one that’s giving us the information we need to do our job. It’s city hall that is stopping us, sir.

THE PRESIDENT: Incredible. John, go ahead, please.

MR. KAZANJIAN: So, sir, I’m president of the Florida Police Benevolent Association. And Mick and I — Mick’s the senior vice president with Florida.

And recently, he and I have met with the incoming senate president, Wil Simpson, and the incoming house speaker, Chris Sprowls. And they have assured us that they have our back. So — and I know the governor, DeSantis, has our back.

THE PRESIDENT: He’s got your back.

MR. KAZANJIAN: He does. He does. However, there are some cities in Florida that want to defund; they want to create these civilian review boards. So we got to stay on top of it.

THE PRESIDENT: Yeah.

MR. KAZANJIAN: Pat’s got a problem, and whatever he needs from us, he’s — we got his back.

THE PRESIDENT: I think the cops in New York have to get tough again.

MR. LYNCH: We want to. We have the — we have the skill and the tools.

THE PRESIDENT: They got to get tough. They got a big voice. You know, you got a lot people. A lot of — it’s a great force. And they have to get tough again.

MR. LYNCH: Absolutely correct, sir.

THE PRESIDENT: They’re going to have to take it and just — they’re going to have to — you just said, they have to protect — you’re sworn to protect the people. You know, there’s a point at which you have to — that’s also an order coming down: Protect the people.

And I think Florida is going to be in great shape with your governor and everything else, but you got to always watch it, John.

MR. KAZANJIAN: No, we do. We really do. And listen, we’re out there working it. And like I said, we represent over 30,000, and we get a lot of retirees from New York and New Jersey.

MR. COLLIGAN: You’re welcome.

MR. KAZANJIAN: Thank you. (Laughter.)

THE PRESIDENT: Do they come into the force?

MR. KAZANJIAN: They — well, some of them do.

THE PRESIDENT: We train them in New York, they leave after 20 years —

MR. KAZANJIAN: They do.

THE PRESIDENT: — and they go to Florida —

MR. KAZANJIAN: They go to (inaudible).

THE PRESIDENT: — and they become police. (Laughter.) They have a good — they have a good life. Right?

MR. MCHALE: Yes, sir.

THE PRESIDENT: You want to say something, Mick?

MR. MCHALE: Yes, sir. I think what’s important, and what radiates through our membership, sir, is your support that we’re entitled to due process. And I don’t think enough of the public realizes that. But your message — getting behind our profession and simply saying, “We have due process as part of our state constitutions.” And obviously, we have a national due process that we’re entitled to. That’s all we ask for.

Again, they’re going each and every day under attack, but they — they raise their hand, they took an oath, and they’re not going to give up. And it’s your message, but it’s your administration. The Attorney General has been to many of our cities, many of our functions, and he delivers the same message — and it’s always from you, sir — “We got your back.” That’s the most important aspect we could ever seek in our profession, to know somebody has our back.

THE PRESIDENT: But what do you do —

MR. MCHALE: In the military, they say “covering your six.”

THE PRESIDENT: Right.

MR. MCHALE: Sir, you’re covering our six, and we thank you.

THE PRESIDENT: I am covering you. But what do you do when you have a radical-left, crazy mayor, and they’re giving you orders that you know will lead to tremendous death and crime? Are you allowed to do your job or are you going to have to listen to this crazy man that got appointed? Is there something you can do? Because I’ll tell you, if you don’t do your job, you going to have certain cities in this country that are going to end up like Portland.

MR. MCHALE: Yes, sir.

THE PRESIDENT: The mayor goes into the crowd the other night — and I watched very carefully, and I saw exactly what happened. He was excoriated. He was — they went after him. It was incredible, right?

MR. MCHALE: Yes, sir.

THE PRESIDENT: And shouting at him, “Resign. Get out of here. We don’t want you.” Horrible.

And yet I watched on NBC News, Lester Holt — on your news, Peter — if you watch that news, that newscast, it was no — it was a big, beautiful thing that he went in with the people. They didn’t show the shouting and the “Get out of here.” And they were rough. They would have ripped them apart. Peter, he had five bodyguards. Five bodyguards. If he didn’t have those bodyguards, you’d be talking about a funeral right now, because they were looking to do a bad thing on him. And he got out with his life.

And yet, I watched NBC — I was watching, for some reason, NBC Nightly News — not even MSDNC. I’m watching “NBC Nightly News,” and if you watched that, it looked like he was a man of the people — the mayor. They would’ve ripped him apart. It just shows you, you know, you need some help from the media. You need a little fair help.

What would you say, John?

MR. FLYNN: I agree, Mr. President. I’m from New York City also, with Patty. And I cover the south to (inaudible), Manhattan south.

The old show, “Baretta” — remember? —

THE PRESIDENT: Yeah.

MR. FLYNN: — their theme song was, “Don’t do the crime if you can’t do the time.” They’re not doing time anymore. And the police want to do their job, and they’re out there doing their job. It’s not even a revolving door anymore. It’s an open door where it comes right back out.

There are riots — the same people looting. We arrested three nights in a row. They were back out the next day with their teams. The police want to do their jobs, they want to protect the communities. They love their communities.

THE PRESIDENT: And yet they go after General Flynn, who did nothing wrong.

MR. FLYNN: No relation. (Laughter.)

THE PRESIDENT: They go after General Flynn — (laughter) — I know. I was going to say, you look like his brother. (Laughter.) Maybe a little bit different. Slightly different, John. But they’ll go after General Flynn and these people that did nothing wrong.

MR. FLYNN: They desecrated St. Patrick’s Cathedral — whether it’s a cathedral, a mosque, a synagogue.

There’s a gentleman who painted a blue line in Staten Island down the street, and he’s getting letters of threat from the city to cease and desist the painting of a line. The buildings in all lower Manhattan are scribbled with anti-police messages and other things, and nothing happens. But you paint one blue line down the street, and they want to summons you and possibly arrest you.

THE PRESIDENT: It’s a good point. It’s true. It’s true. They can do whatever they want. You do one blue line and they make it like it’s a mortal sin. Right?

MR. FLYNN: It’s true.

THE PRESIDENT: It’s terrible. You ever think you’d see that?

MR. FLYNN: No, sir.

THE PRESIDENT: And this has been happening now for a long time.

MR. FLYNN: I would never — never thought they’d be torching police vehicles in Manhattan, lighting them on fire and —

THE PRESIDENT: And you could stop it instantaneously if you had the orders, right?

MR. FLYNN: Yes, sir.

THE PRESIDENT: Instantaneously. I saw that — jumping on top, hitting them with sledgehammers. And —

MR. FLYNN: And the cops want to stop it.

THE PRESIDENT: And they want to stop it. Yeah. Oh, they’d stop very easily.

Please, go ahead.

MR. HARRISON: Greetings from the great state of Texas.

THE PRESIDENT: Right.

MR. HARRISON: I’m the President of the —

THE PRESIDENT: Well, you’re in pretty good shape in Texas, right?

MR. HARRISON: Some places I’m —

THE PRESIDENT: A couple of places are a little shaky, right?

MR. HARRISON: I actually serve in the state capitol, in Austin. (Inaudible.) The rhetoric that’s being pushed by certain segments of the population, they don’t understand: Everyone that goes to work and takes a job as a police officer, or the vast, vast majority, are there to make a difference and protect their communities and to serve.

You’re going to get to a point in America, if this continues, where you’re not going to be able to find people that are willing to take this job. We don’t make the laws.

THE PRESIDENT: And it’s a big problem.

MR. HARRISON: (Inaudible.)

THE PRESIDENT: Who’s going to want to take a job where you don’t have the backing of — of the people running the city, the — the elected people running the city? It’s becoming a problem.

MR. HARRISON: Yes, sir. It is. It’s becoming a major problem all across the nation. We don’t — we don’t —

THE PRESIDENT: In New York, excuse me —

MR. HARRISON: — write laws, we just enforce the laws that politicians write.

THE PRESIDENT: Yeah, in New York, they fired some of the best policemen in the world — your crime fighters — and they let them go. How many was that? What group?

MR. LYNCH: You know, it’s — so we’re losing huge numbers, and we have a problem on both ends, sir. We’re losing members that are deciding to retire, upwards of 1,000. We — they’re canceling classes of our young women and men that want to come on the job and serve, so they’re not even bothering hiring them. And then, of course, that’s going to drop too, because who would want to go into this profession at this time, on this day? It’s a problem, sir.

THE PRESIDENT: We’re going to get it changed.

MR. FLYNN: Sir, I think you’re talking about the anti-crime unit. The anti-crime unit in New York.

THE PRESIDENT: Yeah.

MR. FLYNN: That — that unit.

THE PRESIDENT: The anti-crime.

MR. FLYNN: That’s what I did before I became (inaudible).

THE PRESIDENT: Were you on the unit?

MR. FLYNN: Yes, sir. And patrols out there every day, but they answer the radio. They’re in uniform and they respond from call to call, and the calls are getting so much more increased. Those guys in plainclothes, they went out and they looked for the bad guys, and they took the guns off the street.

And they really, you know — did they have more shootings? Of course. Because they’re the ones going head to head with the guys with the guns. As soon as they canceled that unit, that weekend, that’s when the shootings rose incredibly.

THE PRESIDENT: And the bad ones knew it too.

MR. FLYNN: Oh, yeah.

THE PRESIDENT: Because they know the guys and they say, “Hey, we’re not going to mess around with these guys.” And now, all of a sudden, they heard they were fired. “Oh, boy, we have a free rein.” That’s what happened, right?

MR. FLYNN: Yes, sir. They went back to patrol.

THE PRESIDENT: So simple to understand. It’s so simple. If the media would be — the media is part of the problem, because they don’t report the news the way it is. They don’t report it. They make it look like these are wonderful people. I watched New York. I watched them burning storefronts and going crazy.

I watched — in Minneapolis, we have this guy from CNN with his camera. The — the city was burning behind him. And he’s talking about, “What a lovely group of protesters.” It’s — it’s really — it’s really disgraceful. It’s — the media is a big — I call it the “opposition party.” The media is a big part of the problem. They’re — really, the fake news. It’s a big part. They don’t report it. Because it’s common sense. It’s so simple to understand.

Hopefully, Texas will be in great shape. Okay?

How about — how about you, down here? How are you?

MR. JOHNSON: Mr. President, thank you very much. I’m Bill Johnson. I’m the executive director for NAPO, and I have a
similar perspective to Andrea in terms of — nationally, all the problems that we’ve got — big city, small towns.

THE PRESIDENT: Okay, so I’ll ask you the same question:
So where are you having the worst time?

MR. JOHNSON: I think, obviously the violence that’s going on in cities like New York City and Portland, Oregon, is horrible.

THE PRESIDENT: What about Wisconsin, where they take the pepper spray and the tear gas away? What — what about that?

MR. JOHNSON: Those — those are difficult also. And there’s also another problem where you have cities like Minneapolis, for example, where the violence has been quelled, but now you’ve got the city council voting to defund the entire — or disband the entire police department. That’s a whole other kind of stress. It’s bad for the officers, their families.

THE PRESIDENT: No, no, they want to disband the whole
whole police department.

THE VICE PRESIDENT: Dismantle.

THE PRESIDENT: So — yeah, they want to — they want to dismantle. Right? Dismantle the whole police department.

MR. JOHNSON: Yes. Yes, Mr. President. Of course, the — the people who voted for that to maintain their own private security; that’s okay. But the shopkeepers — you know, the guy running the gas station, the person trying to take the trash out in the middle of night from the — from the McDonald’s can’t call the police.

THE PRESIDENT: So when you guys hear the term “abolish” — they use the word “abolish” the police, “abolish” the departments, some of these people are actually serious about that.

MR. JOHNSON: They are, Mr. President.

THE PRESIDENT: That’s not just rhetoric.

MR. JOHNSON: No, they’re — they’re insane, but they’re serious, Mr. President. And it’s the cities and it’s the men and women who are going to suffer. I mean, it’s — it’s elementary, but they don’t seem to care.

THE PRESIDENT: And defunding, they’re already doing. I mean, defunding they’ve started. They’ve started. New York took off a billion dollars, right?

MR. JOHNSON: Yes, Mr. President.

THE PRESIDENT: So “defund” and “abolish.” And that’s — that’s their favorite of all phrases: Defund and
abolish.

MR. JOHNSON: Yes, Mr. President. And then, once they do that, who knows what their next steps are going to be.

THE PRESIDENT: Who’s gone the furthest of the cities?

MR. JOHNSON: In terms of —

THE PRESIDENT: Fund and abolish.

MR. JOHNSON: I think — I think Minneapolis,
as far as I know, where they actually had — I understand there was a unanimous vote by their own council to completely do away with it.

THE PRESIDENT: It’s just — and yet, the leaders have armed police around their house, right?

MR. JOHNSON: Yes, Mr. President.

THE PRESIDENT: That’s nice.

Go ahead, please.

MR. KOVAR: Mr. President, thank you so much for (inaudible) and Mr. Vice President. My name is Marc Kovar. I’m from New Jersey. I’m Pat’s executive vice president. We’re in trouble. Our governor turned a back on us about a year ago. Our attorney general has turned their back on us. Our — the legislature is pretty much is throwing crazy bills at us. But we’re in a fight for our lives, and our members for our lives. Our guys and girls are really in trouble in New Jersey right now, and we really need your help.

THE PRESIDENT: So surprised to hear about New Jersey —

MR. KOVAR: They really turned their back on us.

THE PRESIDENT: — because I know the trooper so well. I know the whole group so well.

MR. KOVAR: The politicians turned their back on us overnight for — and if we had a problem, I’d be the first one to say, “You know, we have a problem here and we have to straighten it out.” We are 47th in shootings, and we’re a densely populated state. So there’s not a problem in New Jersey. And if there was, I’d be the first one at the table to say, “We have a problem.” But they’re coming down with some crazy legislation, and they’re coming out —

THE PRESIDENT: But those numbers will go up. Those numbers will change —

MR. KOVAR: Oh, absolutely.

THE PRESIDENT: — with time, if they do what you’re saying.

MR. KOVAR: No, I’m talking about police shootings. We are 47th lowest.

THE PRESIDENT: Yeah. No, that’s what I mean.

MR. KOVAR: And we’re (inaudible).

THE PRESIDENT: That’s what I mean.

MR. KOVAR: And another thing is they close the mental institutions in New Jersey. They put all the homeless and the mental people on the streets, and we’re supposed to deal with them. We’re not trained — we’re not trained psychologists and psychiatrists.

THE PRESIDENT: When did they do that?

MR. KOVAR: So the — so they have — they just — about — it’s been a year already. So now it’s getting worse and worse. And every time you go to an emotionally disturbed house, we’re not supposed to — when mom is calling, screaming and yelling that, “My son just stabbed me,” and we walk into a house with a butcher knife full of blood, and you shoot the person, we’re not supposed to know that he had problems and has emotional problems.

THE PRESIDENT: Yeah. Right.

MR. KOVAR: So we’re supposed to deal with this in a matter of seconds and make that split decision?

It’s — that’s — on TV, it’s great, but in reality, Mr. President, the scariest situations. And our guys go to jail for shooting somebody, for protecting their own lives and their families’ lives.

THE PRESIDENT: That example is something that happens, too.

MR. KOVAR: And, Mr. President, I never understood what “fake news” was until you said it all the time, and I can’t believe how bad fake news is, as you say all the time.

THE PRESIDENT: Yeah. No, I’ve said it. And I’ve learned — I — I thought it was fake before I got here, but not as bad as it is.

MR. KOVAR: Yes, sir.

THE PRESIDENT: It’s really a — it’s a tragedy what they — what they’re able to report or not report. You know, what they don’t report is, in many ways, even worse.

MR. KOVAR: Yes, sir.

THE PRESIDENT: Mike, please.

THE VICE PRESIDENT: Well, thank you, Mr. President. I’ll — I’ll be very brief.

I first just want to say thank you to the nearly 250,000 men and women who put on the uniform of law enforcement that are part of this association. You have a President and a Vice President and an administration who understand men and women who serve in law enforcement have no ordinary jobs. You put on a uniform, you kiss your family goodbye in the morning, and you count our lives more important than your own.

So please let them know that all of the passion that they hear from the President and this administration, the support that you have among the American people, which I believe, with the President, is the overwhelming majority of the American people — comes from a deep gratitude.

Secondly, thank you for the endorsement of the National Association of Police Organizations for this President. I joined him on this journey four years ago. I saw the connection that he had with law enforcement from the very first day. And I know that police officers across the country have supported this President each and every day because they know that he understands the job that you do and supports your work.

But I can tell you firsthand, serving alongside him every day, that when we see Joe Biden, the Democratic Party driven by radical Democrats to call for defunding the police, abolishing the police, dismantling local officials, dismantling — voting to dismantle local law enforcement agencies, we have leading politicians that have referred to police officers as “storm troopers” and use the most pejorative terms.

I want to say to you that it has only steeled this President and this administration’s resolve to back the blue. And we’re — we are not going to defund the police. We’re going to support law enforcement every day, as the President said; through Operation LeGend; through the COPS program — 4,000 police officers; through the President’s executive action to give law enforcement agencies more tools to do better policing, even while we improve the quality of life for people all across our cities.

So I just want to be clear with you —

MR. MCHALE: Thank you.

THE VICE PRESIDENT: — right next to him each and every day: I can tell you that everything you have heard from him four years ago, when he first ran for President, his devotion to the men and women of law enforcement has only been steeled by the rise of the radical left and the attacks on law enforcement, and we’re going to be with you every step of the way. This President and this administration will always back the blue.

THE PRESIDENT: And we’re working on additional support, because you need that. We’re the opposite of defund.

MR. MCHALE: Yes, sir.

THE PRESIDENT: And you’re talking about peanuts, by comparison, to what they do and the damage they do and the lives that they destroy. You’re talking about a very small amount of money.

So we’re with you all the way, 1,000 percent. And I want to thank you all for being here. I really appreciate your support. We’ll never let you down. I’m for you — I mean, just by nature, by — it’s natural. Its common sense. And you know what? If I thought you were doing a bad job, I’d let you know. You know that, Mick.

MR. MCHALE: Yes, sir.

THE PRESIDENT: You know that, Pat. I’d let you know.

MR. LYNCH: Yes, sir.

THE PRESIDENT: But you’re not allowed to do your job; that’s the problem. You’re not allowed, and you’re dying to do your job. You could’ve stopped that New York stuff the first night.

MR. LYNCH: Without a doubt.

THE PRESIDENT: In 10 minutes, you could have stopped it, and you would have saved a lot of lives and a lot of anger and a lot of hardship — and a lot of COVID, by the way.

You would have stopped it. Because I saw them marching on top of each other. You would have saved a lot. And you wanted to do it, and they wouldn’t let you do it. I saw that. You — they wouldn’t let you do it. They — they were going actually the opposite way. Turn your back, and then people start getting hurt that had nothing to do with it. They were getting hurt. They just don’t let you do your job.

All right, well, I want to thank — Jennifer, go ahead. Go ahead.

Q Mr. President, on the — on the negotiations with Congress —

THE PRESIDENT: Yeah.

Q — I think the Democrats are hoping to hear directly from you on what you support. Would you be willing to (inaudible)?

THE PRESIDENT: I think the Democrats don’t care about the people of our country. I really don’t. I tell my people: The Democrats do not care about the people of our country. They don’t want to do what you should be doing for the people of our country, whether it’s unemployment or anything else.

And all they care about is the election, and they’re going to lose the election. You see what’s going on with the polls right now. Guess we just got one over 50 percent; Rasmussen just came out. You see what’s going on.

Because the people get it: The Democrats are playing for November 3rd, and we’re playing for the good of the people. It is a disgrace that they’re not negotiating. But they’re only looking to play a political game. I happen to think it’s a bad political game. I think it hurts them.

Q I know that they look at you and what you say publicly — different from what they hear from Mnuchin and Meadows. Are you willing to spell out exactly what you want right now?

THE PRESIDENT: They know what I want. And what I want is I want our people to be able to live and live well, because it wasn’t their fault that China brought in this pandemic, that China brought in this plague. It’s China’s fault. You want to know the truth? China should be paying for it, and maybe they will. Maybe they will. You’ll watch. You’ll watch. What else?

Q Mr. President, if we could ask you, specifically: We heard yesterday you were — your frustrations about how long it’ll take to count the ballots here. Then why aren’t you spending more energy to get the resources and the funding
for the states that they want to be able to secure
this election for all Americans?

THE PRESIDENT: Peter, you know nothing about my energy. Okay?

Q What are you doing, specifically?

THE PRESIDENT: You know nothing about what I’m doing.

Q What are you doing?

THE PRESIDENT: Listen, you know nothing about what I do.

Q The Americans are listening: What are you doing?

THE PRESIDENT: So, on NBC — I just told you about the false report that NBC put out the other night about the mayor of Portland. And this is the kind of stuff you get.

You’ll see what happens. And it’s common sense. Everyone knows mail-in ballots are a disaster. You just have to take a look at the last recent — take a look at New York City. Look at New York, they’re still counting your ballots, Pat.

MR. LYNCH: Yeah.

THE PRESIDENT: Do you know that?

Mr. LYNCH: That’s right.

THE PRESIDENT: They had a race, a small race, by comparison — by comparison, tiny. It’s so messed up; they have no idea. There are ballots missing — thousands and thousands of ballots are missing. They think they’re going to send hundreds of millions of ballots all over the United States, and it’s going to come out. You won’t know the election result for weeks, months, maybe years after. Maybe you’ll never know the election result, and that’s what I’m concerned with. It’ll be fixed. It’ll be rigged. People ought to get smart. And I just hope our Republican voters, the people that are for you, are going to do what they have to do.

Absentee ballots are great, because absentee ballots — you have to go through a process to get them and it’s — it’s actually a great thing. Absentee ballots. I’m going to be voting absentee. An absentee ballot is one thing. A universal mail-in ballot is a disaster. These governors are going to send out millions of ballots. They don’t even know where they’re sending them. I already have friends that got ballots for a son who died seven years ago. When they get — you don’t even want to talk about it.

But the media knows this. Actually, the Washington Post wrote a great article — of all groups. A week ago, the Washington Post wrote a great article that this is a disaster. This is going to be the greatest election disaster in history.

And, by the way, you guys like to talk about Russia and China and other places? They’ll be able to forge ballots. They’ll forge them. They’ll do whatever they have to do. People should go and they should vote or do an absentee ballot.

Q So what are you doing to secure it?

Q The military predominantly votes —

THE PRESIDENT: Say it. Say it.

Q The military predominantly votes by mail or absentee.

THE PRESIDENT: Absentee.

Q And so —

THE PRESIDENT: You didn’t understand me. I said absentee ballots are actually a very good thing.

Q They’re the same.

THE PRESIDENT: Absentee ballots are secure, and they’re very good. But universal mail-in are a disaster. You’re going to see an election that — and we’re going to do very well in the election. Nobody wants that date more than me. I wish we would move it up. Okay? Move it up. But you’re not prepared for what they’re doing.

And they’re using COVID. You know, they’re using the China virus. China must be very happy about it, because they hit us with a virus, and now they screw up an election like you — you will never see. You watch what happens. I don’t think you’ll ever give me any statement, “I guess Trump was right.” But the people know I’m right. Watch what happens.

New York City has a little election — we just talked — you go see. Do you know how far — they’re going to — they’re never going to have the result in that election. Never the correct result. They’ll probably announce something at some point. But when did that take place — like five, six weeks ago.

Absentee ballots: great. Going to the polls: great. If you do universal mail-ins with millions and millions of ballots, you’re never going to know what the real — the real result of an election is. It’s going to be a very, very sad day for our country.

Go ahead.

Q Sir, if — if the system is a disaster, as you say, why not commit to putting in resources to fix it?

THE PRESIDENT: Oh, we’re doing — we’re putting in all the resources you can. But as a couple of the radical-left people said, you know — who actually agree with me — they said, “No matter what you do, we’re not prepared for this.” They’re not prepared for an onslaught of millions of ballots pouring in. They’re not prepared. They’re not prepared.

You watch. They’re not going to announce anything on November 3rd. They’re not going to announce it on the 4th or the 5th or the 6th. It’ll go on forever.

People should go — you know, they voted, Mick, during World War One. They voted during World War Two. They went to the polls; they voted. They went to their booth, and they voted proudly. But now, with COVID, they don’t want to vote.

It’s not they don’t want to vote, it — this will be catastrophic for our nation. And you’ll see it. I’m always right about things like this. I guess I must be or I wouldn’t be sitting here.

But yes, Jennifer, go ahead. You want something? Jennifer, did you want —

Q No, that’s all right.

THE PRESIDENT: Yeah, please, in the back.

Q Mr. President, what is your decision to delay the — the decision to delay the election in Hong Kong? What is your — or is your opinion or what do you think about that?

THE PRESIDENT: I want to — I want to right now focus on this election. I’ll have a statement about that soon. I heard that, that they did the delay in Hong Kong. And we’ll have a statement about that, but I want to focus on this.

Okay, thank you very much everybody. Thank you very much.

END

12:43 P.M. EDT

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Nevada Lawmakers Pass Controversial Bill Removing Protections For Officers Under Investigation

A rally in support of law enforcement organized by the Nevada Republican Party on Thursday, July 30, 2020, outside the Legislature in Carson City. (DAVID CALVERT / NEVADA INDEPENDENT)

Lawmakers in Nevada are rolling back protections granted to law enforcement officers under investigation. The protections were just put into place last year. Law enforcement agencies and progressive groups both denounced the bill.

Last year, lawmakers expanded certain rights for officers under investigation. Now, lawmakers in the Senate have introduced SB2, a measure to roll back some of those protections.

Senate Majority Leader Nicole Cannizzaro (D-Las Vegas) sponsored the 2019 law but says it needs to be reexamined with SB2.

“It is an effort to balance legitimate worker protections, and to ensure accountability, and transparency for our law enforcement officers, so that we may build the trust with the communities that they serve,” Cannizzaro said.

There are several provisions under the new bill. It requires law enforcement agencies to launch an investigation in a reasonable amount of time, but it doesn’t clarify what that timeframe should be. The new measure also extends the statute of limitations from one year to five.

Another change is that the measure prohibits an officer’s legal representation from viewing evidence until after an investigation is complete.

But that has police unions worried.

“The ability for an officer or a representative to inspect the evidence is key. Providing offers the ability to be well-informed, prior to an interview, only gives them the ability to provide more informed answers,” said Troyce Krumme of the Las Vegas Police Managers and Supervisors Association. “Officers are compelled to provide a statement, and they are required to tell the truth, or they are terminated, and rightfully so.”

Also speaking in opposition, Brandon Cassinelli, a Reno police officer for 13 years, says the changes will hurt the good guys.

“Stripping civil liberties away from good officers with this bill is not the same as holding bad ones accountable,” Cassinelli said. “If you choose to pass legislation that is ill-informed, and an obvious response to identity politics generated by an angry mob, I would ask you who you hope to continue to rely upon to defend you from that very angry mob.”

Civil rights organizations and progressive groups were also opposed, but for different reasons.

Gary Peck is the former Director of the ACLU of Nevada. He said the law passed in 2019 was among the most tone-deaf policing bills in the last two decades, and lawmakers aren’t doing enough to clean up the damage from it.

“SB242 was an utter abomination, an embarrassment, and just bad policy,” Peck said.

The organization’s current Policy Director, Holly Wellborn, said SB242, the legislation passed last year, should be repealed completely.

“This is not what the community has asked for,” Wellborn said. “The actions that occurred in May, in Minneapolis, have shocked the country. We have uprising all across this nation and our own community. The repeal of [SB]242 was something that the community had asked for because there was much pain by affected family members.”

Despite those pleas, the new bill, SB2, which only eliminates some protections for officers under investigation, was passed on party lines for the most part, though four Democrats in the assembly voted against it.

SB2 is now headed to Governor Steve Sisolak for his approval. If signed, it’ll go into effect immediately.

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In Remembrance of Lieutenant Erik Lloyd

LVMPD Lt. Erik Lloyd died Wednesday morning after complications caused by COVID-19. Lloyd was a 30-year veteran of the department, and he also served as the president of the Injured Police Officers Fund, a nonprofit that raises funds for families of officers hurt or killed in the line of duty. LVPPA President Steve Grammas says that Metro is considering Lloyd’s death a line-of-duty death. The LVPPA offers its sincere condolences to the family, friends and colleagues of Lt. Lloyd. May he rest peace.

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The following is a press release from the Police Wives of Southern Nevada:

Statement on Behalf of the Lloyd Family in Remembrance of Lieutenant Erik Lloyd
Las Vegas, Nevada — On July 29, 2020, Lieutenant Erik Lloyd of the Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department succumbed to complications arising from his fight with COVID-19.
Lt. Lloyd leaves behind his beloved wife Minddie; two daughters, Cassie and Stephane; five grandchildren; and over 30 nieces and nephews. We extend our deepest condolences to the Lloyd Family as they navigate this harrowing loss.

Lloyd diligently served the Las Vegas community for nearly 30 years with LVMPD. Most recently, he oversaw the Force Investigation Team for the Internal Oversight and Constitutional Policing Office. Outside of his duties with LVMPD, Lt. Lloyd served proudly as the president of the Injured Police Officers’ Fund. Through his involvement both in and with the community, Lt. Lloyd leaves behind a host of friends, colleagues and family that mourn his passing.

Thank you to the Las Vegas community for your outpouring of prayers and support on behalf of Lt. Lloyd and the family. As they continue to process their loss, they will surely need the continued prayers.

We continue to extend the opportunity for those who wish to send donations to the family via the Police Wives of Southern Nevada website at www.policewivesofsouthernnevada.org/fundraisers. All tax-deductible contributions will be provided to the Lloyd Family following the conclusion of the fundraising period.
This fundraising effort has been approved by the Lloyd Family and the LVMPD Charitable Fundraising Committee.

Unity in Blue,
Police Wives of Southern Nevada

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Bill limiting police chokeholds, requiring duty to intervene passes Assembly in bipartisan vote

Assembly Speaker Pro Tempore Steve Yeager presents Assembly Bill 3 on Saturday, Aug. 1, 2020 during the second day of the 32nd Special Session of the Legislature in Carson City. (David Calvert/The Nevada Independent)

A bill that restricts police use of chokeholds, allows recording of law enforcement and calls for drug testing of officers involved in shootings passed the Assembly with bipartisan support, in spite of criticism that lawmakers could have gone further to address police brutality.

Assembly members voted 38-4 on Saturday to pass AB3, with Republicans John Ellison, Robin Titus, Jim Wheeler and Chris Edwards opposed.

A few hours later, the Senate Committee of the Whole passed AB3 as well, meaning it next heads to a full Senate vote. Republican Sen. Ira Hansen opposed, saying the process felt rushed and is not related to COVID-19 or the budget so it shouldn’t be up for consideration.

“It simply does not belong in a special session,” he said.

Democratic Assemblyman Steve Yeager, who presented the bill, prefaced the legislation by describing four lapel pins on his suit jacket — one honoring police officers killed in the line of duty, one for his completion of a citizens police academy, one that says “Black Lives Matter” and a fourth that bears a silhouette of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

“These four lapel pins and the values that they reflect — they’re not mutually exclusive,” he said, before turning to the proposed bill. “… Assembly Bill 3 in front of you is the embodiment of what we can do better in the state of Nevada because if we aren’t moving forward, we’re standing still, which means we are falling behind.”

The bill comes weeks after protests erupted nationwide following the police killing of George Floyd in Minnesota. Flody’s death sparked a resurgence of the Black Lives Matter movement in big cities and small towns across the country — and, with it, calls for police reform.

Gov. Steve Sisolak and other legislative leaders had pledged to address issues with systemic racism and policing during a press conference in early June, shortly after Floyd was killed and protests erupted around the state. The issue was not brought up in the initial, budget-focused special session this month, but was included in the proclamation for the current special session.

During the Saturday afternoon hearing, Ellison lamented what he described as “rumors” swirling about how the bill would defund police departments.

“I think it took away from what the bill really intended to do,” he said.

Yeager agreed about the spread of misinformation.

“I think the best PR that we can do is to encourage folks to read the bill,” Yeager said. “Fortunately, this one is not too long.”

While it may not be long, the 10-page bill would enact a variety of reforms. For instance, the measure explicitly allows recording of law enforcement activity if it is not obstructing the activity and bars police from seizing recording instruments or destroying recorded images.

It provides that police can use “only the amount of reasonable force necessary” to carry out the arrest of someone who is fleeing or resisting. The law currently allows police to use “all necessary means” to make the arrest.

Asked about how “reasonable” is defined, Las Vegas police lobbyist Chuck Callaway said case law dating to the 1980s guides that definition. He noted that no officer he’s talked with believes that police actions taken against George Floyd were reasonable.

“There’s always the hindsight 20-20 factor and someone can always question after the fact whether or not the officer’s actions were reasonable,” he said. “If there’s an allegation brought forward to us at Metro that an officer’s actions were unreasonable, we’re going to conduct a thorough investigation on that to determine if that was the case.”

In 2019, Callaway said, there were 1.5 million calls for service where officers made contact with people, and there were 900 reported uses of force, including lower-level complaints such as people saying handcuffs were put on too roughly. He said that was a small fraction of 1 percent of incidents.

The bill also bans officers from choking people and says officers “shall take any actions necessary to place such a person in a recovery position if he or she appears to be in distress or indicates that he or she cannot breathe.” But Yeager noted that chokeholds could still happen if they were in self-defense against deadly force.

Callaway and legislative legal counsel said it would not preclude a physical struggle to get someone under arrest, but the chokehold prohibition applies once someone is in custody. “Lateral vascular neck restraints” were used 21 times in 2019, Callaway said, but the agency this summer changed its use of force policy to limit the technique only to when an officer’s life is being threatened.

He said the agency supports the bill. The Nevada Police Union, which represents state-employed police officers, also supported it.

Additionally, the measure creates a “duty to intervene” that requires an officer to prevent or stop another officer from using unjustified force against a person, regardless of the chain of command. The officer must report in writing within 10 days the details of the incident.

The bill also requires testing officers for alcohol and drugs — including prescription drugs and cannabis — if they are involved in a shooting or a situation that led to substantial bodily harm or death of another person.

Callaway said under current practice, supervisors are subject to drug and alcohol testing if they are involved in a deadly force situation, but the bill would extend the testing to rank-and-file officers. He said he expected the results would be initially confidential but might later be made public if there was a criminal investigation, through civil litigation or — after the investigation is finished — through a public records request.

Legislators heard an hour of public testimony in support of the bill, although many callers indicated it’s only a starting point.

“This is really the bare minimum of change that needs to occur in order to foster accountability when people needlessly die at the hands of law enforcement,” said Holly Welborn, policy director at the ACLU of Nevada.

Assemblyman Tom Roberts, a Republican and former assistant sheriff with the Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department, stood in support of the bill despite calling it a personal struggle.

“With this bill, it’s not perfect,” he said. “It doesn’t hit every bell and whistle … I think it will actually improve community trust and make our organizations adopt some best practices that are utilized in our state already.”

Police officers who testified against the bill said the measure would handcuff them and is part of an effort to paint officers with a broad brush because of what happened to Floyd.

Scott Nicolas, vice president of the Las Vegas Police Protective Association, testified in opposition, saying there was “no compelling need to make drastic policy changes” at this time.

“What we should be focused on is educating the public on dangers of resisting arrest and why compliance during a lawful detention or arrest is so important,” he said.

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Abolish the Police? What Other Ideas Do You Have?

For the last half-century, the police profession has been defined by its commitment to constant and never-ending improvement. It seems that no matter the source of the latest theory, agencies across the country are willing to give it a try.

Although most of us don’t stop to consider it, common police practices, including deterrent patrols, proactive policing, hotspot policing, mandatory arrest policies, broken-windows strategies, foot patrols, community policing, drug courts, and crisis intervention teams all started as nothing more than hopeful ideas. They were born of academic theories, research projects, and brainstorming sessions.

President Obama’s Task Force on 21st Century Policing provides an excellent example of how ideas are introduced into policing. After hearing from researchers, police executives, concerned citizens, and policy experts, the 2015 Task Force proposed that “police violence” could be decreased by: (1) the use of body-worn cameras; (2) prioritizing de-escalation; (3) implicit bias training; (4) early intervention systems; and (5) citizen review boards.

Although often mischaracterized as “best practices,” these popular police reform proposals were merely theories introduced without meaningful research. Director of the International Association of Chiefs of Police (IACP)/University of Cincinnati (UC) Center for Police Research and Policy, Prof. Robin S. Engel, recently made this case in her latest report, Moving Beyond “Best Practice.”

In her 2020 report, Prof. Engel observed that, despite their popularity, the 21st Century Policing proposals have never been supported by “a strong body of empirical evidence that demonstrates their effectiveness.”

Fast forward to 2020, where police executives, academics, and legislators are once again racing to identify and adopt “meaningful” police reform. Setting aside for the moment whether the police are actually in need of “reform,” we are once again faced with reform proposals that lack evidence to support their effectiveness. We find ourselves implementing a second wave of solutions that have not been validated to address problems that may not exist—or at least may not exist because of the police.

Even so, the absence of evidence is not enough to deter many state legislators, city councils, and police executives who have decided to move forward at record speed. Some of you may view these reforms as sincere efforts to “re-imagine” our public safety institutions. While others view such rapid reform as dangerous attempts to appease rioters and advance controversial political agendas.

In the end, it might not matter why police reform is back in the spotlight. The police profession has a long history and culture of field-testing academic and political theories. At the end of the day, if reform efforts might result in safer, more efficient, and more effective public safety, the police always seem willing to “re-imagine public safety.” Of course, before we re-imagine anything, we would be wise to define our terms.

Re-Imagining Public Safety

Many of you have heard various politicians endorse the idea of “re-imagining” public safety. For some, that idea is meant to camouflage efforts to completely abolish the police as just one of the many “systems of oppression” plaguing the United States.1 But less radical reform advocates propose a different view of “re-imagining” public safety. For them, re-imagining public safety simply means asking if we are “getting the right resources to the right people at the right time.”

When “’re-imagining public safety” is clearly distinguished from the radical efforts to abolish the police, the police and communities will likely welcome that conversation. That is because the police have a long history and culture of integrating specialists from other professions in their public safety response.

Integrating the Right People at the Right Time

Even though the police are trained first responders, they prefer to let the firefighters fight fires, the animal control officers catch dogs, and the electrical linesmen manage unsafe power disruptions. Police defer to EMTs for medical care and mental health professionals for psychiatric evaluations.

Like police, social workers are committed to relieve suffering and to leave people better than they found them. With their extensive knowledge of resources and networking capabilities, social workers can often spend more time focused on the personalized needs of individual community members. This focused time can mean increased access to food stamps, financial assistance, employment, housing, or medical and mental health services. Officers welcome this collaboration.  

Setting the funding issues aside for a moment, it is unlikely that the police would complain if “re-imagining public safety” means that a city hires teams of social workers, crisis counselors, employment counselors, finance managers, drug abuse counselors, or family violence specialists to descend on their cities to more quickly and completely address the unmet needs of their most vulnerable populations. When this can be done safely, let the specialists attack these problems.  

Defund or Defend

No matter how “re-imagining public safety” is defined, the idea is almost universally linked with calls to “defund the police.” For some, “defund the police” is merely a proposal that additional social services should be paid for by repurposing police funds. As a budgetary proposal, reasonable city governments will certainly debate the appropriate funding stream as they balance police services with additional social services.

However, “defund the police” has also become a controversial rally cry for those advocating for the abolishment of the police. For those hoping to “re-imagine public safety” as a fresh integration of police and social services, there will undoubtedly be discussions centered on the safe implementation of those programs. However, abolishing modern police as a consequence of historic injustice isn’t a natural or reasonable progression of those discussions. Police leaders will be challenged to ensure their commitment to professional growth and improvement is not interpreted as validating the controversial racist-police narrative.

Racism, Anti-racism, and Abolishing the Police

Many of you have already experienced the difficulty of advocating for meaningful police reform while resisting any notion that you, your officers, or the police profession are engaged in systemic oppression, murder, and abuse.

For many, the decision to kneel has become a visual representation of these competing narratives. For some, bending the knee is a simple act of respect that can bring a sense of solidarity with your communities. For others, it is a hollow act of virtue signaling. For still others, it is viewed as an act of contrition for their role in the systemic oppression, murder, and abuse of minorities. Kneeling is their admission of guilt for crimes committed by others and for the role they personally play in systemic oppression today.

But there is yet another group of officers who refuse to kneel for fear of validating what they view as an unjust and false narrative. It is a narrative that refuses to recognize the extraordinary professionalism, sacrifice, and selfless service of modern policing.

Although these officers refuse to kneel in the symbolic support of black and brown communities, they continue to kneel in actual service to these communities. They kneel to render medical aid, to stop bleeding, and to restart breathing. They kneel to shield children from gunfire, to distract them from violent domestics, and to comfort their tears. They kneel to hold the hands of terrified family members, to notify mothers of the death of their sons, and they kneel to pray.

For those officers committed to the just and fair treatment of their communities, for those who simply have not seen evidence of systemic racism and oppression, it can be disorienting to hear sweeping demands to defund or abolish the police. From their perspective, such broad indictments and baseless accusations prove to be a significant barrier to cooperative reform.

The New “Racist”

To understand why a personal commitment to equality, compassion, and fairness may not be enough to reverse the racist-police narrative and demands to abolish the police, it may be useful to discuss how racism in 2020 is being defined.  

In How to Be an Antiracist (2019), “critical race theorist” Ibram X. Kendi gives us an insight into the evolving concept of racism, which may explain why even the most conscientious and just police officers are still branded as racists.

According to Kendi, a racist is “One who is supporting a racist policy through their actions or inaction or expressing a racist idea.” A “racist policy” is defined as any policy that yields racial inequities, meaning unequal negative outcomes.

By this definition, every sector of private and public life, including politics, health care, criminal justice, education, income, employment, and homeownership is racist. The intent of the person supporting the racist policy is not relevant, neither may you consider the role of non-racial factors like culture or conduct.

Once you understand this theory, it becomes clear why anti-police protestors may not feel the need to prove (or even allege) that an individual officer is racist. It also makes clear why black and brown officers can be considered racist. If a police officer, social worker, teacher, doctor, lawyer, or banker of any race is viewed as participating in a system that yields racial disparities, they are racist.

Individual officers, who offer national statistics in an attempt to undercut the racist-police narrative, or who provide personal accounts of compassionate and fair treatment within communities of color, will have missed the point. The theory is that, as a representative of a government believed to be racist, you are racist.

After years of being told to build legitimacy and community trust through procedurally just decisions, it is literally impossible to achieve such status in the eyes of those viewing the world through the critical race theory lens. For them, the systems must be abolished.

If you were hoping to redouble your commitment to treating everyone fairly, equally, and with colorblindness, such efforts are viewed as insufficient by those calling for racial justice. It is no longer enough not to be racist, you must now be “antiracist,” which among other things requires you to accept that policing and the current justice systems are racist and as such you must take action to oppose and resist those systems. See the problem?

A Way Ahead

It is not clear to what extent the new definitions of racism and anti-racism will catch hold. They are increasingly popular in universities focusing on critical race theory and social justice, and they have grown in popularity within the anti-police movement, explaining many of the current calls to abolish the police.

By definition, critical race theorists have no interest in compromise on their road to totally dismantling systems of oppression (which they define). That said, the attention, enthusiasm, and sense of urgency that the police reform movement has spurred, is presenting unprecedented opportunities to improve and “re-imagine” policing. Even if you choose to reject the racist-police narrative, it is still possible to re-imagine our relationships with other professionals, re-imagine our training, and re-imagine our roles.

As citizens, politicians, and academics critically consider our public safety programs and policies, those willing to take an honest look at American police have been surprisingly impressed. Even so, it is unlikely that any of us walks away believing we can’t do better.

But this time, better practices, better policies, and better training must be evidence-based. With strong incentives for change, better policing, and re-imagined public safety should not be the product of politicized brainstorming sessions or knee-jerk reactions to anti-police protests and riots.

To echo Prof. Engel, this is the time for police executives and academics to support and engage in the rapid funding, development, testing, and implementation of evidence-based policing practices for the most critical issues in policing.

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Las Vegas police start new 911 texting program

LAS VEGAS (KSNV) — Las Vegas Metropolitan Police have launched a new program allowing people to text 911 rather than call directly.

The department says the program was launched to help people who might be unable to call during an emergency.

Calling 911 is still the preferred method for reporting emergencies, according to LVMPD, but “Text to 9-1-1” can help those who might be unable to speak in an emergency, along with those who may be deaf, hard of hearing or speech-disabled.

To start a 911 text, a person needs to enter 911 in the “To” field and put the location and nature of the emergency in the text field.

Police advise not to rely on phone location services because they might be inaccurate.

The current system can only process texts in English, LVMPD says. No emojis, slang or abbreviation are acceptable due to the possibility of misinterpretation.

It also cannot include other people or group chats, nor can it take photos or video.

Police say those who are deaf, hard of hearing or speech-disabled may use the system to report non-emergencies, though they must identify themselves in such cases.

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LVMPD officers to distribute more than 10,000 school supplies across the Las Vegas Valley

LAS VEGAS (KLAS) — More than 10,000 backpacks and school supplies have been provided by Anthem Blue Cross and Blue Shield Nevada Medicaid and United Way of Southern Nevada to be distributed by Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Officers across Southern Nevada.

The free back to school supply distribution kicked off on July 21 at Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department Headquarters on 400 S M.L.K. Boulevard. After a news conference at 1:30 p.m., supplies were divided up to area commands who will then distribute them to families in Las Vegas communities.

“This initiative was designed to help alleviate some of the financial burdens for those families affected by COVID-19. So many of our students are eager to get back to school, and we don’t want them to worry about what backpack they’re going to wear or what school supplies they may need when they return,” said LVMPD Sergeant Jason Santos.

Amid the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, families are facing unprecedented challenges, including job losses, social distancing, cost inflation, supply shortages, health disparities, and other pressures.

Resources and supplies needed to prepare a child for the school year averaged approximately $700 per child in 2019.

This is not feasible for many low-income families across Nevada and can result in adverse stress that negatively impacts the lives of children and their entire families.

This back to school initiative is funded by the LVMPD Foundation and community sponsors.

All 10 area commands will continue to distribute backpacks with supplies between July 22 – August 8 in their corresponding neighborhoods.

LVMPD backpack drive locations:

  • July 22 – Convention Center Area Command: Harbor Island Apartments, 370 E. Harmon Ave.
  • July 23 – Enterprise Area Command: John R. Hummel Elementary School, 9800 Placid St.
  • July 23 – Spring Valley Area Command: Cashman Park, 4622 W. Desert Inn Rd.
  • July 25 – Summerlin Area Command: Pirates Cove Corridor, Luna St.
  • July 26 – Northwest Area Command: Águilas Church, 5355 Madre Mesa Dr.
  • July 29 – Northwest Area Command: Mater Academy of Nevada, 3445 S. Mountain Vista St.
  • July 30 – Northeast Area Command: Bob Price Community Center, 2050 Bonnie Ln.
  • August 3 – Downtown Area Command: Veteran’s Village/Shared Village, 1150 S. Las Vegas Blvd.
  • August 4 – Bolden Area Command: Liberty Baptist Church, 6501 W. Lake Mead Blvd.
  • August 6 – Downtown Area Command: Stupak Community Center, 251 W. Boston Ave.
  • August 4, 5 and 6 – Southeast Area Command: 17 Elementary Schools and Boys and Girls Clubs
  • August 8 – South Central Area Command: Mobile Distribution

Anthem Blue Cross and Blue Shield, along with the LVMPD, have made a commitment to help children and families, especially those in depressed areas, by removing barriers that can impact health and lives, so they are once again hosting these events across Southern Nevada.

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‘Hey, get out!’ — Video shows police clearing building during fire

Newly released body camera video shows Las Vegas police racing through a downtown Las Vegas apartment complex, alerting residents to a fire that forced a sizable evacuation in June.

Four officers suffered minor injuries in the June 5 fire at the Siegel Suites at 700 Las Vegas Blvd. North.

The video, obtained by the Las Vegas Review-Journal through a records request, shows officers running up a stairwell to reach the 10:42 a.m. fire, then knocking on doors and alerting residents to evacuate as they wait for Las Vegas firefighters.

“Which apartment? Which apartment?” an officer yells as he runs up a flight of stairs to the residence where the fire started.

Smoke billows out of the apartment as officers begin knocking on doors. Another officer bangs on an apartment door adjacent to the fire, yelling, “Hey, get out!”

A child opens the door.

Moments later, three children run from the apartment and down a flight of stairs to safety. The video then shows police knocking on multiple doors and alerting residents to the fire, which caused the evacuation of dozens.

“Someone just wake me, bang on my door! ‘The place is on fire!’ ” 73-year-old Susana Miller told the Las Vegas Review-Journal on the morning of the fire. “Somebody helped me to get out.”

Las Vegas Fire Department spokesman Tim Szymanski said the fire was contained to one unit. Four officers were treated at University Medical Center for what was described as smoke inhalation and heat exhaustion.

Szymanski said only one fire truck was initially able to respond because firefighters were tied up at a separate residential fire on Leonard Avenue in central Las Vegas. That unrelated blaze injured three.

Some residents of the apartment complex told the newspaper they had heard what sounded like a domestic dispute unfolding at the apartment where the fire started prior to the discovery of the blaze.

Szymanski said on Tuesday that an investigation by the Fire Department did not result in any arrests, and authorities believe the fire started on a stove in the apartment.

Damage was estimated at $50,000.

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