Republican presidential front-runner Donald Trump on Thursday vowed to issue an executive order to mandate the death penalty for anyone who kills a police officer.
“One of the first things I’d do in terms of executive order, if I win, will be to sign a strong, strong statement that would go out to the country, out to the world, anybody killing a police man, a police woman, a police officer, anybody killing a police officer, the death penalty is going to happen,” he said.
“We can’t let this go,” he added, speaking to a New Hampshire crowd alongside the New England Police Benevolent Association, shortly after the group voted to endorse Trump.
The outspoken businessman referenced the 2014 shooting of two New York City police officers in their squad car, which prompted significant outcry from some conservatives accusing President Obama of fostering resentment against police officers.
“I want to let you know, the police and law enforcement in this country, I will never ever let them down,” he said.
“The job they do and the job all you in this room do is second to none, and everyone in our country knows that.”
Trump spoke for a brief five minutes after the group’s endorsement and then posed with officers and association members.
Jerry Flynn, the executive director of the association, hasn’t been shy to weigh into politics before. He called for officers to boycott a speech by President Obama at a Boston Labor Day rally celebrating unions in September, accusing the president of standing idly by as officers were attacked.
“We’re talking about an epidemic and the president of the United States has blood on his hands,” he said.