East Room Washington D.C. July 13 2:14 P.M. EDT
Great to have you here. Nice group. Some familiar faces. So thank you all very much for being at the White House. Very special house. Very special place. I'm grateful to be joined by citizens whose lives have been saved by law enforcement heroes. And that's what they are: They're heroes. And they're being very unfairly treated over the last long period of time, but over the last few years. It's terrible what's happening.
We're also joined by two amazing officers: South Carolina Deputy Sheriff William Kimbro. Where's William? William? William? What happened to William? Okay.
Mr. President, he is holding a baby (inaudible).
The baby was crying, so he took (inaudible).
That's a good excuse. That's good. (Laughter.)
And Palm Beach County Deputy Sheriff Corey Reece. Hi, Corey. Good.
In recent weeks, our country's police officers have been really under siege. I want to thank — first of all, I do want to thank Vice President Pence for all the work he's done on this and, in particular, Attorney General Bill Barr, because the job he's done has been amazing. It's been — it's been 24 hours a day. I guess I could say 28 hours a day. Right? It never ends, but it's been a great job that you've both done. We appreciate it. Mike, we appreciate it very much.
But our officers have been under vicious assault, and hundreds of police have been injured and several murdered. You've been reading about it just like I've been seeing it.
Reckless politicians have defamed our law enforcement heroes as "the enemy." They call them "the enemy." They actually go and say they're the enemy, and even call them "an invading army."
These radical politicians want to defund and abolish the police from our nation. At first — when I first heard it, I said, "Well, that's just something that they're saying. That doesn't..." But they actually are trying to do it. You look at what's going on in Minneapolis, you look at what's going in many, many Democrat-run areas. But they want to defund and they want to abolish.
Far-left mayors are escalating the anti-cop crusade, and violent crime is spiraling in their cities. It's all far-left cities where they have no understanding of what has to be done. They don't have a clue. And I will say that we put on a very powerful rule and law that you get 10 years if you knock down a monument. If it's a federal monument, you go to jail for 10 years. And if it's anything else, we tell them we work with the states to help them. But if it's — if you do anything where it's a federal monument — and there are a lot of them up there — and nobody has been attacked, nothing has been attacked since we did 10 years in jail, monument or statue.
In one recent week in New York City — this is hard to believe — shootings were up 358 percent, and yet they spend all their time — they want to do Black Lives latter [sic] — Matter signs outside of Trump Tower. They ought to spend their time doing something else, because I'll tell you what: 358 percent increase in shootings in New York.
Last month, over 300 people were shot. NYPD retirements have quadrupled, and they're going up even further. And New York City is out of control, unfortunately. My place, I love it, but it's out of control. It was doing so well.
Rudy Giuliani — whether you like Rudy or not, he did a great job. He was the greatest mayor in the history of New York.
Murders in Atlanta are up 133 percent compared to the same period last year. And one of the victims was an 8-year-old girl, and we've had younger than that in Chicago last weekend.
In the last two weeks, 105 Americans were shot in Philadelphia. In Minneapolis, the city voted to disband the police department and cut it way down, but disband it ultimately. The radical politicians are waging war on innocent Americans. That's what you're doing when you play with the police.
My administration is pro-safety, pro-police, and anti-crime. And I will say — I just see a new number came in from Chicago — this weekend was a scourge. This weekend was — I guess 20 people killed in many, many shootings — many, many shootings. Far worse than the last week.
So things are happening that nobody has ever seen happening, happen in cities that are liberally run. I call them "radical lib." And yet, they'll go and march on areas and rip everything down in front of them.
If that's what you want for a country, you probably have to vote for Sleepy Joe Biden, because he doesn't know what's happening. But you're not going to have it with me. So we've been very strong on law enforcement. We'll be doing things that you'll be, I think, very impressed with. Numbers are going to be coming down even if we have to go in and take over cities, because we can't let that happen.
When you have 20 people killed, 22 people killed in one weekend in Chicago, and you have 88 shootings — it's not even conceivable. That's worse than Afghanistan. I hate to say it: That's worse than any war zone that we're in, by a lot. It makes them look like tame places by comparison. So we're not going to let it go on.
We're not supposed to — you're supposed to wait for them to call, but they don't call. We've asked Chicago, "Would you like us to go in and help?" And they don't want to say anything. And we've called many of the cities, "Would you like us to go and help?"
We've done a great job in Portland. Portland was totally out of control, and they went in and, I guess, we have many people right now in jail. And we very much quelled it. And if it starts again, we'll quell it again very easily. It's not hard to do if you know what you're doing.
So I just want to thank everybody for being here. I'd maybe ask Vice President Pence to say a couple of words and then I'd like Bill Barr to say something, and we'll go around the room. Okay?
Thank you very much. Thank you, everybody.
THE VICE PRESIDENT:
Thank you, Mr. President It's — it's a real privilege to be here with the law enforcement officers who are gathered here and families whose lives have been impacted so profoundly by the courageous efforts of men and women in law enforcement.
I can assure you that while some are talking about defunding the police, under this President and this administration, we're going to defend the police and we're going to back the blue, because we understand that while tragedies happen — and we'll always look for ways that we can improve public safety, and the President has taken steps and taken executive action to provide new resources to improve public safety and law enforcement around the country — I want to assure you that you have a President who knows what the people gathered around this table know, is that most of the men and women who put on the uniform of law enforcement every day are the best people in this country. They risk their lives every day to make — to make a difference in our communities, just like they've made a difference in all of your lives.
And so I want to thank you all. I want to thank you for being here at this — and for this conversation, as the American people will greatly benefit by being reminded of the incredible contributions that our law enforcement community makes each and every day. And I appreciate your willingness to tell that story.
Thank you, Mike. Bill, please.
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